8 December 2015 - Today’s announcement by the CLP Government that they will scrap the Richardson Park upgrade is a win for common sense and the community.
“This has been a debacle from day one because the CLP refused to consult and listen to the community,” Ms Manison said.
“I am very concerned that today’s decision by CLP Chief Minister, Adam Giles, was again made without even consulting with the head of Rugby League.
“It’s clear the only reason Adam Giles made this decision has come about is a desperate bid by Adam Giles to gain votes less than nine months out of an election.
“Rugby League must have certainty about their future but the CLP must ensure that this time consultation takes place with all those concerned.
“Territory Labor has been consulting with Rugby League and the community and will continue to do so to ensure Rugby League has a home. Rugby League in the Territory has a long and proud history and they deserve to be supported.
“It is interesting to see that the CLP Party has dumped David Tollner and now we see this project has also been scrapped.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
3 November 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner said today that Rugby League deserves a proper home, just like other codes.
“League should have a family friendly home suitable for locals who love to play and watch the game,” Mr Gunner said.
“Territory Labor supports the local community and the Ludmilla Primary School Council’s call to halt the tender process until genuine consultation has occurred with the sporting and broader community.
“All the available evidence, including Northern Territory Rugby League’s original submission, identifies Marrara as the best home for League.”
In 2012, after identifying the obvious drawbacks of Richardson Park and in a unanimous decision, Northern Territory Rugby League (NTRL) proposed to relocate from Richardson Park to Warren Park at Marrara Sporting complex.
“Owing to the existing infrastructure already present at Marrara, NTRL estimated that a 1500 seat stadium with sensible facilities would serve their current and future needs of the game, priced at $16 million,” Mr Gunner said.
“We support the decision to invest $20 million in League having a new home; we just believe after talking with people and looking at the evidence that the new home should be at Warren Park, Marrara not Richardson Park.”
“Richardson Park has not been played on for two years, it has only one road entrance, limited parking, a limited buffer zone and the only way to have two ovals - which is a minimum requirement of professional level games - is to take away valuable oval space from Ludmilla Primary.
“In contrast, Marrara is a first rate sporting precinct that can handle traffic, parking and has a massive buffer zone between it and local residents.
“For one off major events, TIO stadium at Marrara has television quality lighting and a proven track record of hosting high level events.
“If we truly want to put the Territory on the map as an appropriate host for major events it makes sense to use the first rate facilities we already have. That would provide a better return on investment for the taxpayer - and we have to be smart about how we spend taxpayers’ dollars.
“The CLP have failed the test – yet again - on how to consult, consider evidence and make long term plans in the best interests of Territorians.
“Territory Labor will talk with all the rectangular field codes - League, Union, Soccer as well as Touch - about their needs and how we can work with them to develop a proper long term plan, with the priority absolutely being that League has a proper home.
“If we work together we have the exciting potential of having 6 to 7 rectangular fields in a row in the one sporting precinct and an opportunity through co-operation for codes to host major multi-field tournaments in Darwin.
“Let’s be smart and get this right for all Territorians.”
Media contact: Gino Luglietti – 0401 119 794
21 October 2015 - Territory Labor Leader, Michael Gunner, today called on the CLP Chief Minister and Minister for Major Projects, Adam Giles to take responsibility and explain the complete shambles surrounding Richardson Park and Palmerston Hospital.
“Richardson Park and Palmerston Hospital fall under Major Projects status which Adam Giles has complete carriage of,” said Michael Gunner.
“Adam Giles has thrown Garry Higgins under a school bus over the Ludmilla Primary School and Richardson Park Oval disaster, and has flung John Elferink into a hole over the Palmerston Hospital scandal.
“The Chief Minister must stop ignoring his responsibilities and letting his ministers take the blame for projects which he has ultimate ownership of.
“The two debacles go to the heart of why Territorians don’t trust Adam Giles and the CLP to deliver for Territorians.
“Ultimately these major projects are directly tied to Adam Giles– he must stop avoiding his responsibilities and face the public today.”
27 August 2015 - Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation, Natasha Fyles today welcomed Parliament’s decision to investigate the funding of rugby league facilities in Darwin, including the decision to spend $20 million to upgrade Richardson Park.
“The CLP Government is so out of touch, they even get a $20 million sport investment wrong,” Ms Fyles said.
“For years, Northern Territory Rugby League (NTRL) have been planning to move out of Richardson Park. They’ve said that Warren Park, at Marrara, would be ideal for Rugby in Darwin.
“At Estimates in June 2014, the then Sports Minister, Matt Conlan, said Richardson Park was “essentially past its use-by date” and that the CLP were in discussions with the NTRL about constructing a new venue at Warren Park.
“So it certainly was an interesting announcement in May this year, when the Treasurer, Dave Tollner announced a $20 million commitment to upgrade the Rugby facilities at Richardson Park.
“And then the final blow came yesterday from Chief Minister Adam Giles. When asked by a reporter if he was confident the Rugby facility at Richardson Park would still be built, the Chief Minister answered simply:
“No.” - Adam Giles, Nine News, 26 August 2015
“It is “Situation Normal” for Adam Giles – he’s caused chaos and confusion and just seems to be making things up as he goes along.
“I welcome the decision to refer this matter to the Public Accounts Committee, which can cut through the spin and deal with these kinds of issues. Maybe we might finally get some answers about what is going on with the future of Rugby in Darwin.”
Media Contact: Gino Luglietti - 0401 119 794