Upgrading canoe slalom facilities for the next generation of world champions

Monday, 19 May 2014
The Morrison Liberal Government has announced a $2.3 million investment to upgrade the high-performance canoe slalom facility in Lindsay to include change rooms, off-water training and meetings rooms for briefings. 
Liberal candidate for Lindsay Melissa McIntosh said that the Penrith Whitewater Stadium was a local icon in need of an upgrade but also held a special meaning for her. 
“The Penrith Whitewater Stadium is particularly important to me because it was there at the 2000 Olympics that I met my husband Stuart while he was training, so returning to the Stadium to announce this funding boost is a bit like a homecoming,” Ms McIntosh said. 
“I remember during the Olympics that the Stadium was a sport and tourism hotspot but over the years a lack of contemporary facilities has meant that it hasn’t been able to capitalise on international events like the Oceania Canoe Polo Championships as it should. 
“Our investment will help restore the Stadium to its full glory by significantly upgrading the existing facilities so that athletes and tourists alike can enjoy the rapids. 
“Funding the delivery of modern, accessible sport infrastructure is a key part of my Plan for Lindsay. 
“I am very pleased that this announcement comes off the back of my commitments to support grassroots sport in Lindsay through the upgrade of the Penrith Valley Regional Sport Centre and the Chapman Gardens Sports Precinct. 
“These funding commitments stand alongside other sports projects I have advocated for and been able to secure funding, like $500,000 for The Kingsway or $200,000 for a much-needed amenity block upgrade at Hunter Fields in Emu Plains. 
“As my own personal story shows, sport helps to bring people together, and I want to make sure that locals have every opportunity to do just that while having fun and staying active.” 
Liberal Senator for Western Sydney Marise Payne said the investment to upgrade amenities at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium would support whitewater athletes as they train and get ready for competition. 
“The Morrison Government is investing in upgrading sporting facilities because we recognise the wider health, social and community benefits that come from greater activity and participating in sport,” Senator Payne said. 
“We know that investing in sport is smart business: it returns $7 for each $1 invested. 
“Better facilities will support our sport stars, like our very own home-grown Western Sydney dual Olympic medal winner Jessica Fox, who is an inspiration for the next generation of athletes. 
“This investment helps to ensure that our whitewater athletes have access to world-leading technology, practices, systems and people to enable them to achieve lasting podium success. 
“Importantly, our Government is making this significant funding announcement on the basis of our strong local record of committing to, and delivering, investments in grassroots sport. 
“At the previous election, the Liberal Government committed more than $2 million towards the transformation of local sporting facilities. 
“Since then, I have enjoyed working alongside Penrith City Council, meeting with countless sporting clubs and launching my Western Sydney Sports Survey, to oversee a multi-million investment in sport across Lindsay. 
“Only the Morrison Liberal Government can be trusted to make these funding commitments because unlike Bill Shorten and Labor, we know how to manage money and how to run a strong economy.” 
The Morrison Government’s plan to support sport and physical education in Australia builds on more than $2.5 billion which the Morrison Government has delivered for sport since being elected 2013. 
Phil Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Paddle Australia, welcomed the announcement. 
“Penrith Whitewater Stadium (PWS) is in urgent need of investment to upgrade the facilities and provide better access for our developing and high-performance athletes,” Mr Jones said. 
“Upgrading venues like the Penrith Whitewater Stadium will help to attract international athletes and events and provide a significant economic boost at both a Western Sydney and national level. 
“Paddle Australia welcomes any investment that improves the facilities at the PWS and secures the future of this unique and very important venues.” 
The Morrison Government is able to make these investments to encourage greater participation and success in sport because of our plan to deliver a stronger economy, return the Budget to surplus and create jobs.