Concord Oval kickstart
Inner West Courier 23 April 2019
A $5 million funding commitment from a Shorten Labor Government would be a “final piece in the puzzle” to complete the $52 million transformation of Concord Oval.
The redevelopment will be underpinned by a Wests Tigers “Centre of Excellence”, four indoor basketball courts, a gym, crèche, cafe and better training and changeroom facilities for the Tigers, West Harbour Rugby and Inter Lions Soccer clubs.
A development application will be submitted shortly while construction is set to start around February or March next year and will take between 18 months to two years to complete.
Labor candidate for Reid, Sam Crosby, a lifelong Tigers fan, said the $5 million would “kick the project off and allow it to go live”.
“If you walk through the facility here I don’t think it’s wrong to say that for a team of the stature, history and prominence of the Tigers, the training facilities just aren’t up to scratch,” he said.
“We need to bring them into the 21st century.”
The NSW Liberals have already committed $43 million to the project with Canada Bay Council to fund the remaining $4 million if Labor wins the federal election. The Federal Liberals are yet to commit any cash to the project.
Former NSW Liberal premier Barry O’Farrell, who was last month appointed as the chair of Wests Tigers, described the current state of the oval as “substandard”. Mr O’Farrell reaffirmed the Tigers “future is here in Sydney” after recent reports the club could be one potential side to be relocated to Brisbane or Perth as the NRL looks to expand.
“This commitment by Sam Crosby for which we’re very grateful, will be another sign that the Wests Tigers football club is here to say,” Mr O’Farrell told the Courier.
Mr O’Farrell said the club had moved on after being fined $750,000 and following CEO Justin Pascoe’s deregistration for failing to declare a post-career ambassadorial agreement with Robbie Farah.
“I think the fresh start was when the NRL handed down its decision and the club said they accepted the decision wholeheartedly,” Mr O’Farrell said. “You’ve just got to get on with it.
“I’m delighted to be here to lend my support to what is by any measure a great club. “I have never seen a bunch of people working so hard together in one direction and that includes management, the football department and the players, both men and women.”
Mr Pascoe will return to the club next month.