Sporting clubs Benalla Seymour Benalla All Blacks Colbinabbin Funding Euroa Friendlies Euroa Kilmore Blues

Local sports clubs deserve free kick before AFL

16 April 2018

The Nationals will redirect government funding from Etihad Stadium back into sporting clubs across regional Victoria if elected in November.

Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan says that funding currently earmarked for the AFL would be better allocated to local sporting clubs lacking basic amenities such as female change rooms, canteens and scoreboards.

“There’s a long line of local clubs in our area for whom a little bit of funding would go a long way,” Ms Ryan said.

“Hundreds of Benalla kids are playing junior football with only a tin shed as their clubrooms while our local equestrian groups are fundraising to build a new indoor stadium.

“The Benalla All Blacks have also been in touch with me seeking funding to improve the capacity of their netball side.

“While facilities at Barrack Reserve have been redone recently, small towns like Colbinabbin and Mt Pleasant are still looking for money for upgrades. 

“Playing space is now at a premium in Mitchell Shire and there are big gaps in local sporting facilities.

“Broadford’s netballers are playing without access to changeroom facilities while the football club needs lights around the ground to extend playing hours.

“The Kilmore Blues and the junior football club are also keen to redevelop their rooms at JJ Clancy Reserve. 

“While we’re promising to upgrade facilities at King’s Park, Labor MPs are promising to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the AFL’s Melbourne stadiums.

“For grassroots sporting clubs in Seymour, Avenel or Nagambie a little bit of this funding could go a very long way. 

“The committee for Friendlies Oval is still looking for funding for female toilets and to upgrade the oval’s clubrooms.

“Projects like these are more deserving of taxpayers’ money in my book than Etihad Stadium.

“Giving a $225 million taxpayer funded handout to the AFL while community sporting clubs are only being offered concessional loans from the Labor Government shows how Daniel Andrews and his local MPS have their priorities all wrong.”

Ms Ryan said redirecting the money to community sport would benefit hundreds of thousands of Victorians.

“Etihad is already considered a world class sports stadium. It’s not fair that Premier Daniel Andrews thinks that a major corporation like the AFL is more deserving than grassroots sporting clubs,” Ms Ryan said.

“If elected this November, we will redirect every dollar we can from the funds that the Andrews Government has proposed to spend on Etihad Stadium to support our local clubs with much needed upgrades.

“The Nationals understand the importance of sport in regional communities and that’s why the needs of our local sporting clubs will always come first when we are in government.”

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