Question time: Myuna Bay

28th May 2019

Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie) (15:02:03): My question is directed to the Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans. With the Myuna Bay Sport and Recreation Centre closed without warning during the caretaker period at the behest of Origin Energy and on the basis of a non?peer reviewed risk assessment of the Eraring ash dam wall, what is the Government doing to support the affected staff and community, and to reopen this centre?

Mr JOHN SIDOTI (DrummoyneMinister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans) (15:02:49): Mr Speaker—

The SPEAKER: I call the member for Canterbury to order for the second time.

Mr JOHN SIDOTI: I thank the member for Lake Macquarie for his question and congratulate him on his re-election for a fourth term. I am sure I speak on behalf of all members of this House. The member for Lake Macquarie is respected by all members of this House because of his hard work on behalf of his constituents.

Mr Greg Piper: That is a great start, John. Thanks.

Mr JOHN SIDOTI: I am trying hard. Indeed, I have witnessed this as we have been working closely together for the past couple of weeks on issues surrounding the Myuna Bay Sport and Recreation Centre. It is important to note that the Office of Sport received formal advice from Origin Energy during the caretaker period about the potential safety risk to the Myuna Bay centre should the stability of the Eraring power station's ash dam wall be affected. What the sudden closure of the centre means for the people in his community is not lost on this Government. Not only is it a place that community groups and schools can visit, but also it is an employer of people in the area. That is why since I was sworn in as Minister and made aware of this issue, I have worked side by side with the member to reach the right outcome for the community he represents. From the outset, I have met with affected parties to understand the issues surrounding the closure, including Origin Energy. I also spent the day with the member in Lake Macquarie to meet with affected stakeholders and listen firsthand to their concerns.

Before any further decisions are made about this vital community facility, it is important to be aware that I have commissioned an independent review of the technical advice that the New South Wales Office of Sport relied upon when making its decision to close the centre. The New South Wales Dams Safety Committee has been tasked to facilitate this independent review of the technical reports. The ongoing staff remain on full pay until the future of the centre is determined. I have given the member for Lake Macquarie and the local community my absolute assurance that the review will be totally independent and will guide any further decision-making. I expect to receive the independent review in the near future. Once again, I sincerely thank the member for his respect and cooperation. I will keep working with him to get the right result for everyone involved, particularly the good people of the Lake Macquarie community.

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