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March 30, 2011

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester says Sale’s new Gippsland Regional Sports Complex will provide social and economic benefits to the region for several decades.

Mr Chester said local sportsmen and women were enjoying the new facility that has the capacity to attract elite competition and tournaments in the future.

“The social and health benefits of participation in regular sporting activities are well understood but the economic opportunities are often under-estimated,” Mr Chester said.

“Providing a quality facility to host regional and state-wide events provides significant economic benefits and I look forward to some top quality competition in Sale in the years ahead.”

Mr Chester recently took the opportunity to inspect the facility with Wellington Shire Council Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Johnson.

He said the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex was a culmination of funding from all levels of government with contributions from Wellington Shire Council, the Federal Government, the Victorian State Government and community donations.

“This project is a victory for people power,” Mr Chester said.

“In 2008, we had strong support at a community rally to lobby the Federal Government for funding and a petition was sent to Federal Parliament. I’ve no doubt that the strong demonstration of community support helped to secure the funding which allowed the project to get off the ground.

“While the Federal Labor Government has had a poor reputation for waste and mismanagement, this project has been well-run at a local level. It’s particularly pleasing that Wellington Shire Council hired local firms to undertake the project which has been good for the local economy.

“The sporting bodies involved in the project like the Sale Netball Association and Sale Amateur Basketball Association also deserve to be recognised for the hard work that they have put towards bringing the project to life.

“The facility is a great example how a local community can work together and achieve a very positive outcome for the broader region.”

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