I welcome today's announcement by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, that the Federal Government will provide $2.5 million in funding towards the installation of broadcast quality lights at Manuka Oval.
This investment, which will be matched by the ACT Labor Government, means that Manuka Oval will be better able to cater for Australian football and cricket into the future. It also provides opportunities for the ACT to attract competitions such as the Twenty20 Big Bash and AFL night matches.
Major sporting events not only provide great entertainment for the people of the local region, they also attract thousands of visitors from interstate, helping to support local tourism operators and local tourism jobs.
It is a reality of Australia's modern sporting landscape that many matches are played at night, and without lights at Manuka Oval the ACT has been constrained in how many AFL night matches and Big Bash matches it can host.
That's why in recent meetings I have had with Senator for the ACT and Minister for Sport Kate Lundy I have pushed the ACT's case for lights and called for the Gillard Government to make a significant contribution towards the cost of lights at the oval.
I am very pleased to welcome today's commitment by Federal Labor to contribute to new lights at the oval, which are a part of ACT Labor's wider plans to reinvigorate and develop the Manuka Oval precinct.
Preliminary assessments indicate lights will cost about $5 million, with exact costs subject to detailed design work, and would consist of either four or six fixed mast light towers. Collectively, the masts will house between 500 to 600 lights and will produce lux levels that will meet high-definition broadcast standards for both the AFL and cricket.
Additionally, modern sports lighting systems are designed to minimise light spill onto surrounding residential and commercial areas. This consideration is important in the Manuka precinct and the Government is committed to ensure the community, especially those who live near the facility, have their say on lighting options. Community consultation will commence in May 2012.
- Statement ends -
Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases
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