Hogan picks up Labor ball

WE’LL HELP YOU OUT: Grafton Hockey sports administrator Joel Ward with National Party leader Warren Truss and candidate for Page Kevin Hogan announcing their support for extra funding to Grafton Hockey. Photo: Adam Hourigan
WE’LL HELP YOU OUT: Grafton Hockey sports administrator Joel Ward with National Party leader Warren Truss and candidate for Page Kevin Hogan announcing their support for extra funding to Grafton Hockey. Photo: Adam Hourigan

IT'S OFTEN the case when playing sport the ball gets whacked over the fence and forgotten, but the National Party's Kevin Hogan has promised to pick up one such forgotten ball at the Grafton Hockey Centre.

While a lot of money has been spent on the Grafton Hockey Centre in recent years, one project lies gathering dust.

It is the centre's clubhouse, which was to house a bar and function room.

Mr Hogan and Mr Truss claimed the clubhouse had been ignored by two successive Labor governments that never provided the coin to build it.

And so standing on the balcony outside of what has been a construction site for the past three years, both men promised $560,000 to finish the work.

Grafton Hockey Association treasurer Rod Gould said it was important to note a lot of money had been spent upgrading the sporting precinct.

But he said money for the bar and function centre would be very welcome.

"The building and the centre was actually supposed to be opened by John Howard two elections ago, but his plane broke down and it was opened by the previous National Party leader," Mr Gould said.

Board member of the Grafton Hockey Association Les Falla was keenly eyeing the clubhouse's completion.

"It's going to be a great thing when it finally gets finished," he said.

But he was sure hockey in Grafton was so strong, federal money or not, the building would not be a construction site forever.

"It will get done, but without this money it will take longer," he said.

Page MP Janelle Saffin pointed out her government had already spent $1.8 million on upgrading the actual sporting facilities at the hockey centre and surrounding sports precinct.

And she said the feedback from many of the club's stalwarts had been very positive.

"A total of $1.8 million in federal funding went to the Fisher Park Redevelopment, including $475,000 towards upgrading Legends Field to a water-based surface to meet International Hockey Federation requirements and allow more top-level competitions to be hosted here," Ms Saffin said.

"I also lobbied council to allocate $130,000 in federal funding towards improvements to the hockey clubhouse in 2010, including accommodation in its dormitory, a lift, bathroom petitions, deck and fire exits.

"The feedback I get from Grafton hockey stalwarts and many current senior and junior players is that both of these projects have brought major benefits to the Jacaranda City," Ms Saffin said.

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