|Today Prime Minister John Howard met with LeasePlan Western Bulldogs President David Smorgon OAM and Chief Executive Campbell Rose to reaffirm the Government's $8 million commitment to the redevelopment of Whitten Oval.
The Whitten Oval redevelopment is designed to reinvigorate the western region through providing a central community, health and sporting resource that will become a centre for excellence of national significance.
Chief Executive Campbell Rose said the Club was delighted the electoral commitment had been honoured. Rose said he had every confidence in the Government's delivery of the funds, which was pledged during a visit by the Prime Minister to Whitten Oval in October, despite recent speculation from various parties questioning the timing and distribution of the money.
"We are delighted to be meeting with the Prime Minister today.
"The Federal Government's commitment to, and approval of, the $8 million towards the redevelopment of Whitten Oval marks a significant milestone.
"We are grateful to the Federal Government, as we are our other partners - the AFL, Victorian Government, the Forever Foundation and local municipal councils, for their continued support in the redevelopment of Whitten Oval.
"The redevelopment will be a major achievement for the Western Bulldogs and the community of western Melbourne. The Whitten Oval will become a hub for all community activity including sport and health, and we look forward to taking the next step in this project," said Rose.
Whilst in Canberra, Rose and Smorgon took the opportunity to present the Prime Minister with a 2005 Western Bulldogs membership and memorabilia to thank him for his support of the Western Bulldogs and the Whitten Oval redevelopment.
"As a symbol of our gratitude, we are delighted to present Mr Howard with a 2005 LeasePlan Western Bulldogs membership.
'We look forward to hosting the Prime Minister at one of our games during the season," said Rose.
When completed, the redeveloped Whitten Oval proposes to include:
* Improved road, rail and pedestrian access, as well as car parking
* A 120-place child care centre
* A conference and convention centre
* A state-of-the-art sports, medical and allied health care centre
* Conversion of the Whitten Stand
* Retail development
* 'Heroes of the West' hall of fame centre
* WWI and WWII Museum recording the military significance of the precinct
* Floodlighting, landscaping and improved surface for the Oval