The Parramatta Eels today announced that it has secured a $15 million funding commitment from the Federal Government to commence building the largest Community Rugby League facility in Australia.
The proposed $40 million complex in Sydney’s north-west will be a community based facility that will include a minimum four international rugby league fields, an elite standard match venue and a 5000 square metre state of the art Community Facility that will also house a High Performance Centre for the Parramatta Eels.
This historic development will now be supported by $15 million from the Federal Government with the Parramatta Eels and The Hills Shire Council currently finalising designs/proposal for the first stage of the project.
The Federal Member for Mitchell, Alex Hawke said the Federal funding was a fantastic investment in our local sporting community from the Morrison Government. “Northwest Sydney has been one of Australia’s fastest growth corridors for decades now and this Federal investment in more playing fields, better sports facilities is vitally needed.
Not only will the Eels programs be right here in Kellyville, but touch teams, women’s team, young people and disability teams. This is a huge win for the Hills District and Western Sydney” Mr Hawke said.
Mr Hawke also acknowledged that the funding in the recent Federal Budget is not contingent upon the outcome of the upcoming Federal election. This important community development has bipartisan support, with the Federal opposition also providing its support for the project.
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne said, “Council have been working collaboratively with the Parramatta Eels on the vision for a Community and a High Performance Centre that will provide opportunities for our residents to play sport at the highest levels and ensure grassroots rugby league receives the highest standard facilities.
“We look forward to finalising the designs of the project together and working with all the relevant parties in delivering this great vision,” Mayor Byrne added.
The Federal Member for Parramatta, Julie Owens said, “This will be a great project for the whole community, with better facilities for kids playing footy, and we congratulate the club.”
The State Member for Baulkham Hills, David Elliott said, “I’m supportive of the proposal and we are committed to working with the Club to provide this first class facility.”
Parramatta Eels Club CEO, Bernie Gurr thanked the Federal Government for its strong support of Rugby League and said the facility would focus strongly on driving engagement with the Parramatta Eels and the wider community across the Hills District and Western Sydney.
“Today’s announcement is a landmark day for our Club. This project will provide a world-class sporting facility that will enable our NRL team and youth academy programs to be housed in one state of the art venue and enhance our capacity to give back to the community.
“Through our discussions with The Hills Shire Council it quickly became clear that we had an opportunity to build something really special, a place that could cater to the changing needs of one of the fast-growing regions in Australia and increase participation in Rugby League and Touch Football from grassroots all the way up to NRL and NRLW level,” said Mr Gurr.
The new facility will support various community groups such as Wheelchair Rugby League, Try Time and Physical Disability Rugby League, as well as NRL School to Work program which aims to assist Indigenous students with their education and employment outcomes. The new hub will also deliver benefits to multi-cultural communities with a focus on social cohesion and diversity.
Club will transfer its elite programs including the NRL team and the Club’s administration to a new modular training facility.
Completion of an elite match venue to host our current junior representative games and elite women’s rugby league fixtures. Within this venue we will also commence building a 1000 seat grandstand.
Construction of a 5000 square metre Community and High Performance Centre to house state of the art training facilities for Parramatta Eels NRL Men and Women’s teams, Canterbury Cup and Eels Youth Academy for NRL, Touch Football and League Tag teams. The Club will also provide new state of the art facilities for disability, wheelchair and our Try Time Rugby League programs.
The Parramatta Eels and Hills Council have been working closely on ensuring that the proposed facility will significantly increase the number of community users, guarantee that there are enhanced facilities for the local junior league Clubs and that the surrounding residents will benefit from more parklands and free play spaces.
The multi-stage project will promote equality and social inclusion while facilitating greater outcomes for the community and stronger interaction between the Parramatta Eels Club and its community partners.