Sports Minister Yvette Berry should demonstrate the ACT government’s commitment to Indigenous Canberrans and commit funding for the restoration of the Boomanulla Oval, Shadow Minister for Sports and Recreation James Milligan said today.
The Boomanulla Oval, named after Indigenous advocate Mervin John “Boominulla” Williams, is a football ground for the national Indigenous community that has been closed for three years and is in state of dilapidated disrepair.
“Why is it that Minister Berry can commit millions of dollars of government funding to nearby sporting facilities while allowing this significant national Indigenous football oval to fall into such disrepair? It is shameful,” Mr Milligan said.
“We have asked the government what it is intending to do about the oval, but the responses throughout have been non-committal.
“The Minister has twice stated that the oval falls under her portfolio responsibilities. In which case, it should have been maintained as a matter of course, with all other ovals and recreation facilities. The disgraceful state of the oval is indicative of this governments’ failure to maintain even basic standards for its facilities. The longer the government fails to act the higher the cost to the people of the ACT.
“I fear that this is yet another example of an arrogant government that discriminates in its spending, allocating money where it wants but not where it is most needed. I call on Minister Berry to demonstrate the government’s commitment to Indigenous people in the ACT, and in fact nationally, and to dedicate funding to the full repair and restoration of the oval,” Mr Milligan concluded.