Churchill sporting facilities need urgent attention

The Nationals are going into bat for grassroots Churchill community sporting clubs, who desperately need new facilities to replace dilapidated sporting infrastructure in the town.

The Nationals candidate for Morwell Martin Cameron and The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath recently met with members of the Football Netball Club, Junior Football Club, Cricket Club and Blue Devils Baseball Club to discuss the outdated facilities.

The clubs are seeking the development of a community sporting hub at Gaskin Park to bring facilities up to acceptable modern standards.

The Master Plan seeks to bring the cricket and baseball/softball clubs, located at George Cain Oval into the Gaskin Park precinct, and cater for female athletes and officials.

Mr Cameron said Churchill sporting groups are frustrated about their substandard facilities and playing surfaces, despite the Gaskin Park Master Plan being drawn up over 10 years ago.

“The sporting facilities for these Churchill sporting clubs are totally outdated and inadequate,” said Mr Cameron.

“The changerooms unacceptably reflect the standard of recreational facilities 50 years ago, while the playing surface of the junior football oval and George Cain Oval are a safety concern.

“The Gaskin Park changerooms which caters for males only appear structurally compromised, with cracks in the brick work large enough to put your hand in, the roof is sagging and leaking in multiple places – but frustratingly the players have no option but to keep using these rooms.”

Ms Bath has committed to raising the issue in State Parliament.

“It defies belief that there are no female specific facilities at Gaskin Park and no disability access, while the public toilets are antiquated, and the six netball teams share one court.

“Over at George Cain Oval the playing surface is average in summer and almost unplayable in winter, there’s limited bathroom facilities and the changerooms double as a social room – it certainly doesn’t meet the needs of a growing community.

“Both venues and clubs have been ignored by the Andrews Labor Government and need investment.”

Mr Cameron said with a history of shared involvement, it’s great to see Churchill’s grassroot sporting clubs’ enthusiastic commitment to co-existing in a recreation hub at Gaskin Park.

“Churchill is a growing town; housing estates are filling with young families – it needs recreation infrastructure which supports its development,” said Mr Cameron.

“There is sufficient space at Gaskin Park to develop a modern sporting hub which will enhance participation and community connection.

“If we want to encourage active and healthy communities, then our sporting groups deserve facilities to match.

“As The Nationals candidate in Latrobe Valley, I’m committed to advocating for the Gaskin Park sporting hub development, so all players, officials, volunteers and supporters have fit for purpose facilities that supports them well into the future.”