Friday, 24 August 2018

The Andrews Labor Government has bowled up another major sporting coup for the Latrobe Valley, with the Melbourne Stars set bring the buzz of Big Bash League cricket back to the Valley later this year.

Premier Daniel Andrews today joined members of the Melbourne Stars and local cricket fans at Moe’s Ted Summerton Reserve to announce the Stars will play a full Big Bash League match for points against the Adelaide Strikers in January.

Televised live to an expected audience of about one million people, the historic match on 23 January will put the Valley in the national spotlight and boost the local economy with visitors flocking in to see the spectacle up close.

On top of this clash, the Melbourne cricket derby will trade city for country with the Stars and arch-rival Renegades set to collide in the Valley for a pre-season showdown later this year.

The announcement follows the success of the inaugural ‘Valley Smash’ between the Stars and Hobart Hurricanes in Traralgon last December, which drew 5000 fans and drew thousands of children to community events across greater Gippsland leading up to the practice match.

Thanks to the Labor Government’s unprecedented $85 million Latrobe Valley Sports and Community Initiative, the Valley will soon be home to the best community sporting infrastructure, including here at the Ted Summerton Reserve with the planned $3 million cricketing centre of excellence to better support local teams.

As part of this funding, the Labor Government has also invested $6.9 million to deliver an extensive program of major events and community sporting activities across the Valley. This includes bringing elite sports with regular pre-season games, coaching clinics and community carnivals including footy, soccer, basketball and cricket.

The major pipeline of sporting infrastructure projects in the Valley will create about 300 jobs in construction and 275 ongoing operational and support roles, providing a boost to the Valley’s economy.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Having grown up in a small regional town, I know just how much the local footy and cricket club matters. With our funding, we’re not just backing stronger local sporting clubs – we’re backing a stronger local community.”

“This is another massive sporting coup for the Latrobe Valley – not only are we building the best facilities for community sport, we’re also giving locals the chance to see their sporting idols right here on their doorstep.”

“Big Bash cricket right here in the Valley will create jobs, fill local hotels, attract new visitors and help deliver the prosperity that this proud community deserves.”

Quotes to be attributed to Melbourne Stars President Eddie McGuire

“This is exactly the kind of major sporting event that we hoped to bring to regional Victoria when we announced last year that the Melbourne Stars would be making the Latrobe Valley our home away from home.”

“We’re excited that the young kids of the Latrobe Valley have a chance to see their superstars up close and experience the magic of a Big Bash match in their backyard on January 23.”

“We would like to thank the Andrews Government for their unprecedented investment in local infrastructure and major events that has helped bring the Stars to the Valley.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“After the success of last year’s Valley Smash, we’re bringing the Stars back to the Valley again with our Big Bash League game returning for more competition in Moe.”

“This is another great win for our local communities and our growing visitor and tourist economy.”