The new $4.8 million Gawler and Districts Netball Association netball courts project is set to commence construction during March/April this year, following approval for the expenditure by the Parliamentary Public Works Committee (PWC) last week (Monday 5th February 2024).

The approval has been welcomed by Local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo, who spoke in support of the project at the committee hearing.

Mr Piccolo said while the project is being managed and delivered by the Town of Gawler, it is fully funded by a State Labor Government grant, which required the approval of the PWC as the expenditure budgeted is expected to exceed $4 million.

Mr Piccolo told the committee that the project that “in my view, [it is] a very important project for my electorate.”

“This project is a result of an election commitment made by the Labor Party [in opposition] , which is now the government,” said Mr Piccolo.

“It is a $4.8 million investment in the sporting facilities for my electorate and my town of Gawler. It helps the government to deliver on its commitment to this community.”

“Importantly, this project will actually help build safer facilities which will comply with the Netball Australia National Facilities Policy.”

“One of the key criteria why this investment has been made is that the existing facilities don't meet the [national] policies, and a number of events cannot be held there as it poses a risk to both players and spectators.”

“By having this facility redeveloped, it will enable the Gawler and District Netball Association, to host state-level competitions.”

“In addition to providing, sporting opportunities for women and girls, it also has a sports tourism component to it as well. It brings people to the town and helps with the economic development of our community.”

“Importantly, the facility will also help increase membership for the association, which makes the sporting facility much more financially sustainable.”

“About 750 women and girls play during the summertime and 250 during wintertime. That will grow; I anticipate that will probably double very shortly once they have new facilities there.”

The project involves:

• Demolition of the existing thirteen courts and construction of ten new netball courts, oriented north to south with associated LED lighting;

• Three-metre-high fencing around the courts, benches, irrigated lawn viewing areas and a drinking fountain; and

• New car park for approximately 100 cars, with new lighting, paths, reorganised spaces, and a new sealed road connecting the precinct to Hallam Drive.

Mr Piccolo said fencing is an important part because the association actually does collect gate fees as a way of supporting the facility.

Mr Piccolo thanked the Gawler Council staff who have worked diligently to deliver this project on a timely fashion.