Mr HODGETT (Croydon) — (11 660) I rise today to call on the Minister for Sport to visit the Eastfield Cricket Club to meet with club representatives, view the current facilities and listen to a proposal for a much‑needed upgrade to the pavilion at Benson Oval in Eastfield Road, South Croydon.

At the outset, I wish the minister a speedy recovery from his heart attack. I offer my best wishes to John and his family at this time, and I wish him a full and speedy recovery so that we can get him down and welcome him to the Eastfield Cricket Club.

The Eastfield Cricket Club is a member of the Ringwood District Cricket Association. Established in 1973, the club is situated at the picturesque Benson Oval in Eastfield Park, South Croydon. By way of background, Eastfield Cricket Club has expressed its concerns about the poor condition and standard of the facilities at Benson Oval. In particular, the clubrooms and facilities are completely inadequate for today’s use, with an outdated clubroom layout offering very poor functionality. For example, there is only the one change room area for all sporting participants, the single women’s toilet opens directly out into the central change room area, the canteen is substandard and general space and storage is lacking.

I have had ongoing discussions with the president, Mr Dallas Leeming, the senior coach, Mr Nick Bole‑Brown, and representatives of the club about the need to upgrade and expand the clubrooms for modern day use.

Recently representatives from the clubs met on site and viewed the pavilion with the mayor and officers from the Maroondah City Council and a representative from the office of the federal member for Deakin, Mr Michael Sukkar. The consensus view was that the pavilion is in need of a major upgrade and that all stakeholders should work together to develop plans for an upgrade and redevelopment of the building. In time this will require funding assistance from all levels of government, and I would like the minister to explore possible funding opportunities that the club and the council can apply for at an appropriate future time.

Eastfield Cricket Club is supported by its friendly and family‑orientated off‑field atmosphere as well as its appeal to people from all walks of life. The club continues to grow, develop and field teams in under‑10s, under‑12s, seniors and veterans over 40, along with the entry‑level Milo In2Cricket and T20 Blast programs. It is a terrific club led by a great president, a hardworking and dedicated committee and a fun group of players and supporters. I will continue to work with the Eastfield Cricket Club as it looks to build on recent successes both on and off the field and continues to be a strong, successful club. Again I call on the Minister for Sport to visit Eastfield Cricket Club to meet with club representatives, view the current facilities and listen to a proposal for a much‑needed upgrade of the pavilion at Benson Oval.


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