PORT Stephens sporting clubs are headed towards a safer future, with the announcement of funding that will ensure nineteen more clubs across Port Stephens will soon have adequate access to a defibrillator in the event of an emergency.
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On 10 February 2018, a local cricket player collapsed during a game at Lakeside Sporting Complex, Raymond Terrace, having suffered a heart attack.
The sports ground did not have a defibrillator, and had to request the assistance of a lifeguard at the nearby Lakeside Leisure Centre.
Five days later, West Ward Councillor Giacomo Arnott put forward a notice of motion for all Councillors to support the pooling of funds from Council and Ward funds to purchase a number of defibrillators to put across sporting centres in Port Stephens to ensure that future lives can be saved if needed.
The motion was wholeheartedly supported by Councillors across the board, and the project was given a much needed cash boost this week with the announcement that the NSW Premier, The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP, has provided $4,400 in funding to Port Stephens Council to co-fund the purchase of four defibrillators for sports grounds across the Port Stephens LGA.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC, representing the Premier, met with Mayor Ryan Palmer and Cr Ken Jordan this week to announce the news.
“Port Stephens Council will fund 50% of the cost in conjunction with the NSW Government and I thank Cr Ken Jordan’s advocacy and the Council staff for their prompt action following the incident at Lakeside Sports Complex,” Mr MacDonald said.
Mayor Ryan Palmer said the support was indicative of a strong and productive working relationship between Port Stephens Council and the NSW Government.
West Ward Councillor Ken Jordan, whose ward encompasses the Lakeside Sports Complex where the incident took place said this was timely support in between rounds of the Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program.
The four new defibrillators will be put in clubs at Tomaree Sports Complex, Salamander Sports Complex, King Park Sports Complex and Lakeside Sports Complex.
These four complexes along service more than nineteen local sporting groups and clubs.
Cr Giacomo Arnott, who lodged the initial notice of motion, told News Of The Area, “I’m glad that the NSW Government has come to the table to support our sporting groups with access to these life saving devices.”
“I know that our sporting groups desperately want these devices, so I hope Council will assist our local sports councils in obtaining devices for venues that still don’t have them.”
Deputy Mayor Chris Doohan told News Of The Area, “It’s terrific to see some more Defib’s becoming available for our community.”
“Medowie Sports Councils Committee some time ago worked to ensure that every single facility in Medowie is fitted with a defibrillator, so it’s great to see the rest of Port Stephens beginning to have the same.”
“It’s great to see the support from the state government to finance more units in Port Stephens.”
By Rachael VAUGHAN