The Somerville and surrounding community was devastated by the destruction of the Western Port basketball stadium by a fire that occurred at the Somerville Community and Recreation Centre on 1 May. More than 50 firefighters and 16 units battled the blaze, which began at around 7.30 a.m. The fire was well alight when Country Fire Authority crews from Somerville and surrounding brigades arrived. Little could be done to save the stadium, which was so badly damaged that it had to be demolished. The quick response and brave actions of our local volunteer firefighters resulted in areas of the attached administration building being saved. The stadium was used by thousands of participants across a range of sports each week. It was home to the Western Port Steelers and hosted state-level basketball games.
Western Port townships are part of a broader tight-knit and supportive community, and it was therefore not surprising to learn that within hours of the stadium being destroyed local community sporting groups had donated enough courts and other facilities to house all scheduled games. I have already met with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, a range of community groups and service providers, and local community leaders to ascertain the wishes of the community regarding the rebuilding of the stadium and to ensure that, whatever the configuration of the replacement facility, its construction is commenced as quickly as possible.