She was attending an event to celebrate the installation of a suite of facilities at Melbourne Park that make the event accessible and more comfortable to people of all abilities.
She praised the event for its innovation and commitment to upgrading facilities, so that players and fans could feel welcome and players could perform their best.
The result is that this year Melbourne Park is delivering the most open Australian Open in history, putting Victoria in the global spotlight and delivering accessible and inclusive Grand Slam action to hundreds of thousands of fans.
The venue is more accessible than ever with works delivered as part of the precinct’s $972 million redevelopment providing improvements such as ramps and lifts that follow Universal Design principles, and hand rails along steps and a new Changing Places bathroom facility at Rod Laver Arena.
Indigenous Australians will be recognised and honoured at this year’s Australian Open with a formal welcome to country ceremony and workshops for Aboriginal players, with tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley to host some sessions.
The Victorian Government is also making sure that tennis fans can get genuine tickets at a fair price.
The Major Events Act makes it illegal to sell, or advertise for sale, a ticket to a declared event for more than 10 per cent above the face value of the ticket.
So far five $826 scalping fines for the Australian Open 2020 have been issued to people who have been detected trying to profit from the passion of sports fans.
In addition to issuing fines, authorised officers have forced 71 Australian Open tickets advertised on secondary platforms that potentially were in breach of the legislation to be withdrawn from sale, with monitoring of ticket-selling platforms taking place around the clock.
The Australian Open is the largest annual sporting event in the world in January, attracting a record 796,435 fans last year – more than half from interstate or overseas – and injecting more than $347 million into the Victoria economy while generating 1500 jobs.
The Melbourne Park redevelopment project has enabled Victoria to secure the Australian Open until at least 2036.
Work on the final stage of the project will be completed in time for the Australian Open 2023, providing a new 5,000 seat show court and a function and media centre.
The Australian Open runs from Monday, 20 January to Sunday, 2 February. For more information go to the Australian Open