Federal Labor announces $14.5m election commitment to State Basketball Centre

FEDERAL Labor announces $14.5 million election commitment to support State Basketball Centre Expansion.

  • $14.5 million commitment to contribute to facility development for community and elite basketballers
  • Redeveloped State Basketball Centre to include 18 courts, expanded administration facilities, a national headquarters and High-Performance Centre for elite athletes
  • State Basketball Centre will be the home of Basketball Victoria, Basketball Australia, South East Melbourne Phoenix, Melbourne Boomers and Knox

Federal Labor, if elected to Government, will commit $14.5 million to the State Basketball Centre, Wantirna South to support the expansion of grassroots and high-performance basketball, as well as administration facilities for the Victorian basketball community.

This funding commitment will contribute to facilitating expansion of the State Basketball Centre to develop a National basketball headquarters, and an 18-court facility believed to be the largest indoor basketball facility in the Southern Hemisphere.

The venue will provide greater community access to sporting facilities, including for the Knox Basketball Association, and Knox Gymnastics Club; the creation of a High Performance Centre, as well as expanded administration facilities for both the national and state basketball bodies, and a home for the NBL’s South East Melbourne Phoenix and the WNBL’s Melbourne Boomers.

Tim Watts MP attended the State Basketball Centre on Saturday morning to announce a $14.5m election commitment for the venue from the Federal Labor Party. Picture: BASKETBALL VICTORIA

Basketball Victoria CEO Nick Honey welcomed the announcement, and said the funding commitment will enable basketball to continue to grow at all levels of the sport – from grassroots through to elite teams and leagues.

“Today’s announcement is a significant contribution to the development of Stage Two of the State Basketball Centre to create an 18-court facility and provide an opportunity for a world- class high-performance centre to be located in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

“The additional courts will provide Basketball Victoria, Basketball Australia, Knox Basketball and national professional league clubs – South East Melbourne Phoenix and the Deakin Melbourne Boomers – the ability to host bigger events, increase access and availability for participants, and facilitate a greater pathway to elite sport for the basketball community.

“We thank the Federal Opposition, specifically the Shadow Minister for Sport – Senator Don Farrell for making this pledge and investing in the future of basketball,” Mr Honey said.

Member for Gellibrand Tim Watts MP, representing the Federal Opposition, at the State Basketball Centre on Saturday morning to make the $14.5 million announcement, said it was important to meet the growing needs of both grassroots and elite basketball programs to give all Australians a fair go in sport.

“We’re in a golden era for Australian basketball and we want to keep the momentum going. Expanding the State Basketball Centre will get more Australians off the bench and onto the court.”

“This investment will provide opportunities for ballers at every level. Whether you’re playing at the community level, the club level or have aspirations of representing Australia, we’ll ensure you have the right facilities and pathways to get you there.”

Tim was joined by Senator Raff Ciccone, as well as the Labor candidate for Aston, Dr. Kadira Pethiyagoda, Labor candidate for Chisholm, Jennifer Yang, Labor candidate for La Trobe, Simon Curtis and Labor candidate for Casey, Bill Brindle as well as players and management from both the South East Melbourne Phoenix and Deakin Melbourne Boomers.

This morning’s announcement follows the Victorian State Government’s investment of $82 million, and Knox City Council providing $25 million to the expansion of the State Basketball Centre. The Victorian State Government also contributed $5 million towards the creation of 10 regional hubs to provide High Performance coaching and facilities to elite basketballers across the state and $13 million to revamp Melbourne Arena.

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