Gippsland South The Nationals Sport

Daniel Andrews bills grassroots sports for AFL deal

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has condemned Daniel Andrews for handing our local community sports groups a raw deal, while doling out harbour-side land in the heart of Melbourne to the AFL for free.

In a parliamentary inquiry this week, Treasurer Tim Pallas admitted he had no idea of the value of the land recently gifted by the Andrews Labor Government to the AFL to develop a new headquarters at Docklands.

The Treasurer also confirmed to the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee there was no effort to analyse if the deal would benefit taxpayers.

“Daniel Andrews is prepared to gift the AFL prime land worth – apparently – millions of dollars, while our grassroots sports clubs are left with the scraps,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In Gippsland South we have got local clubs needing female change rooms, upgrades and repairs to current change rooms, social room facilities and general maintenance - they all need more support than the AFL.”

The $225 million for the AFL to renovate the Etihad Stadium could, based on current State Government grant guidelines, cover grants for – 2,250 country football and netball clubs, 75 aquatic centres or 900 small swimming pool upgrades.

It was also revealed at PAEC that grassroots clubs will be forced to pay three per cent interest on loans to upgrade local facilities.

As Shadow Minister for Sport Mr O’Brien said grassroots sport was getting a raw deal from the Andrews Labor Government.

“It beggars belief that Daniel Andrews is giving a free kick to the AFL while slapping our community sports clubs with interest-bearing loans to upgrade their facilities.

“Anyone involved in sport at the grassroots level could point to a club rooms that needs replacing, a stadium that needs a new roof or a playing field that needs work.

“The Nationals will back grassroots sport. We’ll divert any funds from the Etihad Stadium deal that we can into grassroots sports.”


Friday, 18 May 2018

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