Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$180,000 boost to upgrade Palm Island’s sporting and recreational facilities

An Australian Government funding boost of $180,000 will complete the upgrade of the Palm Island sporting and recreational facilities.

The funding will help build a new athletics track, a new children’s playground, as well as assisting in the refurbishment of a netball clubhouse, and the construction of shades throughout the complex and a shower in the unisex disabled toilets.

Renovations to the netball clubhouse will include replacing the roofing and ceiling, fixing the walls and floors and replacing the roller shutters.

Sport can be a powerful tool to transform kids’ lives and expand life chances for young Indigenous people.

As well as the obvious health benefits, kids learn to turn up for practice, to listen to the coach and to be part of a team.

The work is expected to be completed by the 2010 rugby league season and will be a sport and recreational hub for the more than 650 children living on Palm Island.

This funding builds on the $400,000 the Government has already contributed to the sports and recreation facility, and the $5,000 donated by the Catherine Freeman Foundation for the Island’s netball facilities.

Work on the upgrade has already started, with the help of the local council, the Coolgaree Community Development Employment Projects and the Palm Island Sport and Recreation Association.

The Australian Government will continue to work in partnership with the community to support and encourage Palm Island’s kids to enjoy the benefits of sport.