Sport The Winner As Federal Election Funding Heats Up
As the political race intensifies in the last week of the federal election, both the Labour and Coalition have committed funding towards sporting projects and infrastructure.
The proposed redevelopment of the WACA Ground Improvement Project has received a $30 million promise from Federal Labor, which marks the single largest commitment to an individual sporting project in the federal election campaign to date.
The funding will help transform the iconic WACA Ground into a venue with female-friendly facilities for WA’s elite women’s teams, as cricket continues to pursue a level playing field for women in sport.
In addition to this investment, Cricket Australia will provide $4 million, the WACA will raise another $10 million through the WA Cricket Foundation, with the hope that $30 million from the State Government will be secured before the State Election.
In the same week, Netball Australia welcomed a $30 million Coalition commitment to fund numerous initiatives – from grassroots through to high performance.
If the Morrison Government is re-elected, the $30 million commitment will be the largest single investment in Australian netball by a Federal Government and will enhance participation at a grassroots level through a range of products and programs that can be localised to netball communities across each state and territory.
The government would also financially back Netball Australia’s bid to host the world cup in 2027, one that coincides with the 100th anniversary of Netball Australia.
The Coalition’s announcement follows a $150 million plan outlined in the April budget to upgrade 124 change rooms nationwide to provide sufficient facilities for female athletes.
Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie said the lack of appropriate changing rooms was a “major deterrent” for women wanting to participate and feel welcome in club sport.
As part of a broader sports package, the Morrison government would also create a $2 million Regional Events Fund for elite events outside the capital cities, and invest $1.5 million in talent-scouting for para-athletes.
With one week left of federal campaigning, sporting projects are still in line to receive funding commitments from the federal government, especially in Victoria, which is regarded as a severe weak spot for the Coalition going into this election, with several seats held by the government on small margins considered likely to fall to Labor.