Freo nets a pledge

WA Labor has committed to funding a $1.8 million upgrade of the Gibson Park netball courts in Fremantle if elected in March.

Opposition leader Mark McGowan traded hoops with players on Monday afternoon when announcing the funding pledge, saying the money would go towards extending the clubrooms, building a cold room and providing some much-needed spectator seating and shade.

“I am a netball dad, so I know it’s not just the players, but the families who come down every week and they’ve got no shelter,” Mr McGowan says.

• Opposition leader Mark McGowan practises his toss-ups with Matilda O’Malley while a swag of Labor candidates and netballers watch on. Disclaimer: Matilda is the daughter of Labor’s Bicton candidate Lisa O’Malley, but our photographer swears she was just the smallest and cutest player there.

Although the money would go to Fremantle council to administer, the courts are actually within the state seat of Bicton; it’s shaping up as a bellwether for the election. The Liberals notionally sits on a 10 per cent margin in the newly created electorate, which just happens to be exactly what ABC election guru Anthony Green says Labor needs state-wide to win the election.

Netball association president Sondra Anderson says the money will help make the games safer and more comfortable to the 5000 players that descend on the courts each week.

by STEVE GRANT 

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