darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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$1.5M SQUASH AND TABLE TENNIS CENTRE OPENS IN BAIRNSDALE

November 12, 2009

A new squash and table tennis centre has opened in Bairnsdale this week following a long-standing community campaign.

The $1.5 million facility at the Lucknow Recreation Reserve features 12 table tennis courts and six glass-backed squash courts in an adjoining building as well as an amenities block with change rooms and child-minding facilities. Provisions for indoor bowls to be played in the centre have also been made.

The new centre means squash and racquetball can make a long-awaited return to Bairnsdale, after the former courts closed a couple of years ago.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester congratulated John Gale, from the Keen-Agers table tennis club for his persistence and dedication to see the project to fruition.  

Mr Chester also commended the local squash and racquetball club, East Gippsland Shire and Workways for bringing the community together to achieve this state-of-the art centre for the local community.

“Together, local table tennis and squash clubs were able to raise $58,000 from the local community and, on top of this, Bairnsdale Table Tennis Club contributed $80,000,” Mr Chester said.

“This is a wonderful fund-raising effort and I congratulate all of those volunteers who were involved in the bringing the community together to achieve this result.

“It is a true credit to the Bairnsdale and district community.”

The Federal Government has contributed $700,000 toward the $1.5 million project; with the State Government contributing $250,000 and East Gippsland Shire Council $250,000 as well as $75,000 from Workways, $80,000 from Bairnsdale Table Tennis Club and $58,000 in other community donations.

Mr Chester said the Federal Government had a responsibility to regional communities to invest in infrastructure that will encourage healthy lifestyles and provide opportunities to be involved in sport.

“Rather than one off $900 payments the Rudd Labor Government should be investing in infrastructure like this that provides more opportunities for our regional communities,” Mr Chester said.

“Remaining active is the key to a healthy lifestyle and I encourage all East Gippslanders to take up this new opportunity at the Bairnsdale Squash and Table Tennis Centre.”

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