Media Releases


February 18, 2020

Sporting clubs in the Hunter and Central Coast missed out on grants for better facilities because the Morrison Government skewed funding toward city seats it was targeting to win last year’s Federal election.

The Female Facilities & Water Safety Stream was designed to provide grants to fund female change facilities at sporting clubs in rural and regional areas to encourage greater female participation in sport.

But less than 10 per cent of the $150 million fund was allocated to projects in rural and regional electorates.

Instead, the Government splashed 80 per cent of the fund building swimming pools in marginal electorates in cities.

Only four of 16 Nationals-held electorates across the country received funding, while Liberal-held, non-rural seats got nearly $110 million.

The Hunter and Central Coast electorates of Shortland, Hunter, Newcastle, Paterson and Dobell got absolutely no support from the government through this program.

We know that Garden Suburb Football Club could have done with improvements for the huge and growing number of women and girls playing in their club.

Before the election, Member for Shortland Pat Conroy announced that a Labor Government would invest $300,000 to provide new change rooms for female players at Garden Suburb Football Club.

“The club has become known as a female-friendly club, but infrastructure has not kept up with growth in player numbers,” Mr Conroy said.

“They launched their first female team in 2010, and now 40 per cent of members are female,” Mr Conroy said.

“Female change rooms would have given female players their own space and pave the way for Garden Suburb FC to enter a women’s side in elite competition in the future.”

The Morrison-McCormack Government misused public money to prioritise its own political fortunes over a fair application process.

This stinks. It fails every test of decency and accountability.

It’s also an indictment of the Nationals Leader Michael McCormack, who has been bullied by Scott Morrison and has proven completely ineffective in representing the interests of rural and regional Australia.

While this Government prioritises itself above everyone else, the people across the Hunter and Central Coast miss out.