The Baillieu Government’s funding assistance to sporting clubs recovering from January’s floods is woefully inadequate, Shadow Minster for Sport and Recreation, Luke Donnellan said today.
Mr Donnellan said sporting clubs in flood affected communities were in need of more assistance to prepare for the impending winter season.
“Sporting Clubs are the heart and soul of many regional towns, and many are at a loss how they can repair fields and flood ravaged facilities,” he said.
“The Baillieu Government’s announcement is too little, too late.
“Some clubs have lost entire top dressings in the flood as they were literally washed downstream, and the grants that the Baillieu Government have finally made available are woefully inadequate.
“These clubs, which unite towns and are run by hardworking volunteers, now have to scrape together funds to refurbish damaged club rooms, redress flooded fields and replace essential sporting equipment.
“To put this into perspective, sporting clubs had access to grants of up to $100,000 after the Black Saturday bushfires.
“These clubs are facing damage and clean-up costs on a similar scale, but the Baillieu Government is providing only 5% the amount of the money.”
Mr Donnellan said while there were trickles of assistance for farmers, businesses and families, many sporting clubs suffered silently.
“These clubs have kept patiently waiting for some assistance while as many as six weeks went by, which is six weeks of games not played and six weeks of lost game-day revenue,” he said.
“Today’s announcement by the Coalition is a slap in the face for the dozens of clubs across Victoria, and now they are facing the likelihood of paying the majority of the huge cleanup bill.
“The question must be asked, why have they waited nearly two months to make this funding available?”