SEA EAGLES legends have joined the call for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to honour previous election commitments and deliver federal funding for a much-needed Brookvale Oval upgrade.
Don't drop the ball Tony, people are saying about his pledge.
The Warringah MP pledged $9 million in federal funding for Brookvale Oval in the lead-up to the 2007 election, when Mr Abbott was a minister in the Howard government, before the Coalition was defeated in the poll.
Warringah Council recently contributed $4 million in funds to upgrade Brookvale Oval, while the State Government pitched in a further $6 million.
Manly CEO Graham Lowe said it was time for peninsula residents to be repaid for their years of loyalty to Mr Abbott.
“If we can get $30 million, we can have our dream ground for every sport to use,” he said. “(Fans) are sick and tired of seeing money pumped into other grounds.”
Since 2004, nearly $50 million in federal funds has been spent on six NSW, suburban NRL grounds, but Brookvale Oval has received only $1 million for a lighting upgrade during the period.
Leichhardt Oval and Campbelltown Stadium, which are both in Labor-held seats, have together received nearly $12 million from the Federal Government over the past three years despite hosting just six NRL games a year between them.
The Rudd government also provided money for an upgrade of Energy Australia Stadium, in the Labor seat of Newcastle, while the previous Coalition government delivered funds for Penrith Stadium, in a then-marginal seat, as well as Cronulla’s Toyota Stadium and St George’s OKI Jubilee Stadium.
Sea Eagles stalwart and NRMA director Geoff Toovey said it was “frustrating” to see what grants other NRL grounds had benefited while locals suffered “the price for not being in a marginal seat”.
“His opponent in the election locally has come out in support of the improvements for Brookvale and Mr Abbott needs to do the same,” Mr Toovey said.
Warringah Labor candidate Hugh Zochling has vowed to put his job on the line for Brookvale if he was elected, claiming he would resign if he did not obtain funds for the Sea Eagles’ home ground.