I start by recognizing the traditional owners of the land on which we meet. I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging.
It is fantastic to be in Griffith today to open this beautiful new sports complex.
I know it’s been in the works for a long time, so today is a proud day – and I’m excited to share it with you.
This new complex offers so much.
Brand new basketball and korfball courts.
A new athletics track, grandstand, hockey field and Olympic swimming pool.
State-of-the-art facilities – for budding sports stars, but also for social players.
For locals to use every week, and for the wider region to flock to for major events.
For everyone in and around Griffith to take part in what’s been called the ‘Green and Gold Decade’ – the 10 years of major sporting events Australia will host between now and the Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games.
So many kids who play sports dream about Brisbane 2032.
I hope we see some of them on stage in 10 years.
And I see this new sports complex being a springboard on some of those journeys and a hub for this community.
This government knows how important community infrastructure is, especially in regional Australia.
That’s why we announced $1 billion in our budget this week for two new programs.
Our Growing Regions program supports community infrastructure like this that improves quality of life and sustains prosperity.
And through our Regional Sites and Partnerships program, we will work with states and local councils to invest in larger-scale, site-based projects aimed at transforming regional and rural centers.
We do this because we want to boost regional economic prosperity by providing equitable and fair access to capital works financing for community and economic infrastructure.
And we do this because we want to improve the quality of life for all Australians.
Sport can play a major role in this.
I love that you made today a ‘come and try’ day.
Go to court.
Enter the field.
Jump into the pool.
Come and join us.
That to me is the essence of neighborhood sport.
Everyone who comes in, on and off the field.
Everyone feels that they belong, and that they are part of something bigger.
Sport teaches us the value of practice and persistence.
Team sport teaches the power of collaboration.
We grow through heartbreaking losses and euphoric victories.
I am so proud of the Australian athletes and coaches.
People like Evonne Goolagong Cawley – who was born here in Griffith and grew up in Barellan.
Evonne didn’t start with much – just a homemade racket and a second-hand ball.
The attitude of the time meant that as a young Wirudjuri girl, she couldn’t play with the other kids in the club.
But she overcame and won 14 Grand Slam titles – at the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon.
All her life she has been an example of extraordinary sportsmanship and has worked tirelessly to create opportunities for indigenous people.
Our Australian of the Year, Dylan Alcott, is another great example of a sportsman who gives everything and also gives back to the community.
Just like all the sports stars here today – from the GWS Giants, the Sydney Kings, the Sydney Flames, the Hockeyroos and the Kookaburras – who are fresh off their 7th consecutive gold medal at the Commonwealth Games!
Congratulations to everyone who has worked hard to make this vision a reality.
It is my great pleasure to officially open the Griffith Regional Sports Complex.
I know it will be home to big dreams and wonderful memories.