Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent today officially announced almost $2 million in federal funds to upgrade sporting facilities in Moe.

Mr Broadbent made the announcements while visiting the two successful recipients, the Moe Newborough Keenagers (who will receive $1.1 million to build a dedicated table tennis facility) and members of the Moe Netball Association (who will receive $800,000 toward a move to new facilities at the Newborough sporting precinct).

“I congratulate all those people who have advocated on behalf of these two vital organisations – as well as giving thanks to Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash and Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, who have always had the best interest of the region at heart,” Mr Broadbent said.

The funds will come out of the Federal Government’s Latrobe Valley Local Jobs and Infrastructure Package, being delivered though the Community Development Grants programme.

“For the Moe Newborough Keenager table tennis players the funding of the Moe-Newborough Multi-Purpose Facility Redevelopment will mean a dedicated space for more than 100 members. It’s a fantastic win for the club, which has dedicated itself not just to table tennis but also social inclusion – offering an essential meeting place for many older citizens in the Moe region and beyond,” Mr Broadbent said.

“Of course, young people are coming along to play too, and the club is particularly busy in the school holidays, with children and grandparents utilising the tables together. Unfortunately the club had set a limit on its membership, with little opportunity to expand. I’m happy to say that is all about to change.”

Presently club members set up the table tennis tables on Latrobe Leisure’s basketball courts, packing them away at the end of each session. Moving the tables is an arduous and time consuming task.

In August, Mr Broadbent addressed Parliament, telling colleagues that “a long time ago the government of the day promised to spend $1 million” on the table tennis upgrade and it should, finally, be delivered.

“There’s a little problem that came up: we lost that election campaign, so that promise was never fulfilled. But we’ve never forgotten the promise,” he said.

“At the moment, because of the changes that are happening in Latrobe Valley I’ve got a proposition to upgrade the centre so that the Keenagers get a centre or a room for table tennis….So I’m promoting once again the opportunity for the whole centre to be rebuilt, revamped, re-established so that the Keenagers can have their day in the sun.”

Mr Broadbent said it was heartening his colleagues understood the merits of ensuring the success of both projects.

“The Moe Netball Association has also battled hard for many years advocating for the funding of a much needed redevelopment of its facilities, which have become worn over the past four decades. Being able to finally see the Moe Multi-Purpose Sports Centre project funding guaranteed is a wonderful thing for the competition,” Mr Broadbent said.

“Those players, committee people and parents certainly deserve what they’ve been asking for: a safe and friendly environment where the netballers of Moe and surrounds can participate in the sport they love.

“Netball remains a sport that encourages social inclusion and exercise across a broad demographic. This funding is essential not only for those playing today, but for the generations to come.”