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Jube in the money

Saturday, 29th September, 2018

AFL Broken Hill chairman Andrew Schmidt (left) and Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries in front of the plans for the redevelopment of the Jubilee Oval. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan AFL Broken Hill chairman Andrew Schmidt (left) and Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries in front of the plans for the redevelopment of the Jubilee Oval. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

By Tyler Hannigan

State member Kevin Humphries was on hand yesterday to present AFL Broken Hill with $2.568 million for the redevelopment of the Jubilee Oval.

The money will be used to construct new women’s change rooms, umpire rooms, renovate the existing change rooms, bituminise the car parking surrounding the oval and install new lighting as well as improve the playing surface and install new fencing.

AFL Broken Hill chairman Andrew Schmidt was thrilled with the result.

“This is a great day for our city,” he said.

“We will now boast a sporting facility that will be the equal of any in regional Australia and we will now be able to lobby for regional, state and national sporting events.

“It will also allow our local players, officials and spectators, regardless of what sport they’re involved with, to have access to facilities that in past years they could only dream about,” Schmidt added.

One of the driving factors in the success of the proposal was the growth of women’s football in Broken Hill and their lack of facilities.

“The arrival of women’s football and the success of the competition combined with the expansion and growth has meant we need to cater better for our female players,” Schmidt said.

Member for Barwon Humphries said that these improvements were well overdue.

“Jubilee Oval is the premier centre for sport and community activities in the Far West but no major improvements have been made here since World War Two,” Humphries said.

“This funding will revolutionise the current sports offering in Broken Hill, allowing more members of the community more hours of play and across a greater variety of sports such as cricket, rugby league, baseball and Aussie rules.

“Adelaide Crows, the AFL Women’s league and Country Rugby League have already expressed interest in bringing matches to the Far West and these upgrades will finally allow us to host these elite competitions.”

It’s been a long process for AFLBH in getting this funding which started way back in 2006 under then chairman David Sedunary and Peter Nash when he assumed the role.

Things really started to ramp up over the last 12 months with a working party consisting of Kimberly Fell and Paul Edwards from Foundation Broken Hill, Karl Fritsch from Kenxdesign and Schmidt.

That group also received support from Broken Hill City Council General Manager James Roncon and grants writer Anne Andrews. 

Broken Hill Council will contribute $50,000 in cash, having initially turned down the application, and other financial support totaling $130,000 has come from Broken Hill Community Credit Union and AFL NSW/ACT.

The league were not expecting to find out the result of their application until late November but Humphries said that he fought to have it brought forward.

“It’s because I’m the local member and this is Broken Hill,” he stated.

“We wanted Broken Hill to be the first regional sporting infrastructure announcement, or certainly I did.

“But also, it’s a good project. I think I had eight or nine projects from across the electorate that were nominated but this is the one that’s been successful. The others are going to have to wait for another month or two to find out.” 

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