Battle for Heathcote: Libs commit to $5M ‘Burgh sporting upgrade, while Labor promises to deliver on new police station in north

State MP for Heathcote Lee Evans and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet with members of Helensburgh Thistle Soccer Club, Helensburgh Tigers RLFC, Helensburgh JRLFC, Helensburgh and Districts Little Athletics Club and Helensburgh Cricket Club.

HELENSBURGH’S home of sports will be transformed with a $5 million commitment from the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government ahead of the March 25 state election.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet visited Helensburgh earlier this week, with local Heathcote MP, Lee Evans, bearing gifts.

The incumbent minority Liberal/National Coalition government, led by Premier Perrottet, is seeking to win a fourth successive four-year term in office. They are challenged by the Labor Party, led by Opposition Leader Chris Minns.

Also, re-contesting the northern Illawarra’s other state seat will be sitting Labor MP, Ryan Park in Keira. The Greens, other minor parties and several independents will also contest Heathcote and Keira.

Labor’s candidate for Heathcote, Maryanne Stuart, with Shadow Minister for Police, Paul Scully at the old Helensburgh police station.

Meanwhile, Maryanne Stuart, the Labor candidate for Heathcote has also made a significant announcement ahead of the election.

Ms Stuart has visited Helensburgh with the NSW Shadow Minister for Police, Paul Scully to announce, if elected, a Labor government will build a new police station for the northern Illawarra.

Ms Stuart said the promise has been made three times over the past 12 years by the sitting Liberal MP for Heathcote, Mr Evans and the current NSW Liberal government.

“Empty promises, we’ve been neglected and ignored,” Ms Stuart said.

“It’s time to change the government and give the Police a safe workplace and provide a police presence in the Northern Illawarra.”

The Coalition’s Helensburgh sporting infrastructure upgrade would deliver two new multipurpose courts, a synthetic field, upgraded lighting and improved amenities.

“This commitment will ensure Helensburgh Sports and Recreation Precinct remains at the heart of community sport in Heathcote,” Premier Perrottet said.

“This precinct is home to so many local sporting clubs, and the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $5 million commitment will transform this community asset and enable it to cater for the enormous growth in sport participation here in Helensburgh.”  

Sporting codes who utilise the Helensburgh Sports and Recreation Precinct include netball, cricket, football and athletics. 

State MP for Heathcote Lee Evans said the funding commitment would help create a modern and diverse sporting facility for the local community.

“Sport plays an important part in the fabric of our local Heathcote community, and the investment from the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government will go a long way to bring even more people and organisations together,” Mr Evans said. 

“I commend all our local club presidents for the time they have spent working collaboratively with me to achieve this mammoth undertaking on behalf of the community of Helensburgh.”

NSW Minister for Sport Alister Henskens said the Helensburgh Sports and Recreation Precinct transformation would build upon existing improvements by the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government, which includes investments in the local pool and improved lighting for the sporting fields.

“The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has invested more than $2 billion in grassroots sport infrastructure and programs since 2017, and our support for improving facilities such as the Helensburgh Sports and Recreation Precinct will make a huge difference to the lives of locals playing for fun and those trying to forge a career in elite sport,” Mr Henskens said.

Helensburgh Thistles Soccer Club Jason Bell said upgraded female-friendly facilities, a synthetic field and more storage rooms would increase participation in community sport.

“The investment by the NSW Government in our sporting precinct means we can identify what clubs need and as a result, improve the experience of our players and spectators,” Mr Bell said.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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