Posted on 16. May, 2012 in News

Local sporting clubs could be forced to go without proper training facilities with the Baillieu Government removing $46 million of funding for grants from the Community Support Fund, Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation John Eren said today.

In a Parliamentary Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing, the Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty confirmed there had been a funding cut but refused to specify how much.

The Community Support Fund was set up to allow some gaming revenue to be reinvested into initiatives that benefited local communities such as facilities for local sporting clubs.

While the Baillieu Government is pocketing more money from increased gaming revenue, it slashed $46 million of funding it is providing community organisations.

Mr Delahunty also confirmed he had axed the Sustainable Sport program which assisted drought affected sporting clubs and the Community Sport Code of Conduct program which assisted state sporting associations.

“The Baillieu Government either doesn’t care or doesn’t understand how important community sporting clubs are to local communities,” Mr Eren said.

“Community sporting clubs are the lifeblood of many country towns and the axing of these funding programs is a kick in the guts to the members and volunteers who work tirelessly to support these clubs.

“Cutting money from these programs will hurt local sporting clubs across the state and will either force clubs already struggling to make ends meet to spend more time fundraising or go without important facilities.

“These cuts will have a significant impact on local sporting clubs desperate for basic sporting facilities such as safe playing surfaces, toilets and change rooms.

“Not only do local sport competitions develop the next generation of Victorian sport stars, they help bring local communities together and have a positive social impact.

“The Baillieu Government needs to explain how it can waste nearly $300,000 on toilet facilities at railway stations for the exclusive use by two protective service officers but can’t provide funding that benefits hundreds of sports players in local communities.”

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