A Coalition Government will commit $250 million in funding over four years for community sporting infrastructure across the country.
This commitment seeks to capitalise on the national attention female sports are rightly receiving and will deliver long-term benefits by boosting female participation in sport and supporting grassroots sport in our country.
Whilst our investment won’t be contingent on State and Territory government investment, we would encourage the States and Territories to match our investment to bring the total to $500 million.
The Prime Minister’s proposal of a one-off public holiday to celebrate the incredible success of the Matildas comes at a potential cost to the economy of $2 billion; not to mention sidelining the recent triumphs of other female teams in the Netball World Cup and the Ashes. It is a stunt which will have no legacy impact.
The Prime Minister has tried to make the Matildas’ success all about him. But we think there is a better way. We are opposed to Mr Albanese’s public holiday and today we are announcing a policy that will instead make a lasting difference to the community and the lives of our young people.
This package is aimed at improving sporting infrastructure right across our country for the benefit of our young girls and boys who currently operate with poor change room facilities and substandard sporting infrastructure.
We are committed to this proposal whether the Matildas win or lose the World Cup. And we will be proud of them whether they win or fall short.
With the recent success of the Matildas, the Diamonds and our Women’s Ashes Team, we are seeing a surge in interest in women’s sport. We must harness this goodwill to build the sporting infrastructure that our young athletes need.
This is a better and more lasting proposal than the Prime Minister’s public holiday ego trip. It will mean better outcomes over the decades ahead for millions of young girls and boys across the country.
Too many young girls who have an interest in playing sport currently have to change in the sporting club carpark and use the boys’ toilets. This is not good enough. We need to do better and this announcement will go a long way in rectifying this inequity.
Our priority will be improving sporting infrastructure in population growth areas in outer metropolitan, rural and regional areas: areas where young families live and where participation in sport is vital.
Funding will focus on projects which reduce barriers to participation for women and girls, but funding will be made available for projects which also increase accessibility and improve local facilities for children around Australia.
In the first meeting of National Cabinet under a Coalition Government we will seek support for the policy, and that each state and territory contribute towards the initiative.
Recipients would need to demonstrate co-funding of at least 20 per cent of the project cost.
We think this sporting infrastructure improvement fund is a better idea than Mr Albanese’s public holiday thought bubble.
And it’s an idea that will benefit millions of our young Australians who should have the community and sporting infrastructure they need and deserve.
15 August 2023