By Mick Roberts
22 June 2016 - The Torch
THE Federal Labor Opposition have committed to fully fund the proposed $8 million Sydney Multicultural Arts and Sports Precinct at Belmore if elected to government.
The pledge comes three years after Labor's two local Federal MPs Tony Burke and Anthony Albanese made a commitment to the precinct, along with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Sydney Olympic Football Club and Canterbury City Council.
When in Government, Labor promised $4 million towards the development, on the proviso of matching NSW State Government funding.
The NSW Liberal Government declined and the project has been in limbo ever since.
Under the proposal, the precinct will feature seating for 1,700 at Belmore Sports Ground and Peter Moore Field, dedicated performing and visual art spaces, and a two kilometre pathway to the town centre and public transport.
Mr Burke says the announcement means if Labor forms Government after the next election, the Sydney Multicultural Arts and Sports Precinct will be built and fully funded.
"Our local area has long been a home for multicultural engagement in sport, and now our area will have the first multicultural arts facility for this part of Sydney," Mr Burke said.
"It will also provide opportunities for artists, administrators, support staff and technical personnel involved in staging exhibitions, performances and events."
Bulldogs Chief Executive Raelene Castle has applauded Labor's promise to proceed with State 2 development of Belmore.
"It's good to hear that if elected, we know that stage two developments will move forward which would be an amazing achievement for the Canterbury-Bankstown district and the community," Ms Castle said.
A spokesperson for Back to Belmore said it was hopeful that the Liberals would also commit to fully funding the project if re-elected.