Ovens Valley sports clubs deserve funding before AFL

Tuesday 17 April 2018

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

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said funding currently earmarked for the AFL would be better allocated to local sporting clubs lacking basic amenities such as female change rooms, lighting 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,” Mr McCurdy said.

“The North Wangaratta Football Netball Club is a classic example of where that money could be better spent to assist a struggling but determined club.

“Then there’s the Wangaratta City Football Club. It’s one of the biggest sporting clubs in Wangaratta yet it has substandard lighting. Projects like these are more deserving of taxpayers money than Etihad Stadium.”

Mr McCurdy said giving a $225 million taxpayer funded handout to the AFL while community sporting clubs were only being offered concessional loans from the Labor Government showed how Daniel Andrews and his local MPs have their priorities all wrong.

“I don’t agree with the Victorian Government giving $225 million to the AFL while asking local grassroots clubs to apply for loans to improve their facilities,” he said.

“I have nothing against the AFL at all but surely grassroots footy is the key to long term AFL sustainable football.”

Mr McCurdy 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,” he said.

“If we are elected to government this November the Nationals 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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