A Shorten Labor Government will invest $1.1 million towards a new rugby league hub in Melbourne’s North – supporting the growth of grassroots league in the state and boosting female participation in the sport.
Rugby league in Victoria has experienced enormous growth over the past decade, with participation rates increasing by more than 300 per cent.
To support further growth in the sport, Labor will contribute $1.1 million towards the Victorian Rugby League State Community Centre in Broadmeadows, which will serve as the HQ for League in Victoria.
Labor’s investment will directly contribute to building up to three fields; change facilities for male and female players and officials; medical and massage rooms; gymnasium; administration space and meeting rooms; and a multi-purpose community space.
Critically, this will enable Melbourne Storm to enter a team in the new NRL Women’s Premiership in the future.
The Storm has said the lack of a facility for women’s players prevented them from bidding for a NRLW licence this season. This facility removes that roadblock.
Almost one in five players across Victoria are female – investment in women’s facilities is essential so the sport can continue to grow.
Victoria has proven itself as a great breeding ground for NRL talent, and this investment will help nurture the development of the next generation of players by building strong community NRL foundations.
The state-of-the art facility will also be made available for a range of community based programs run by the NRL and Storm including the NRL Community programs around mental health, respect towards women and reconciliation and the Storm’s School to Work program and LIVIN which aims to break down the stigma surrounding mental health.
This is an investment in the future of sport in Victoria, in supporting female participation in NRL and in encouraging our kids to get involved and get active in sport at all levels.