Marshall reinstates $3.5m for sports program

A Marshall Liberal Government will reinstate $3.5 million annually to the Community Recreation and Sports Facilities program, which is due to be cut by the Weatherill Labor Government in 2015.

Sports clubs, recreation organisations, schools and councils have all condemned the Weatherill Labor Government for slashing $3.5 million per annum in sports funding, and the peak lobby group, Sports SA, has also called on the Government to reverse its cuts.

The program allows organisations, clubs, councils and schools to upgrade their existing sporting facilities through grants and, in past years, has paid for upgrades of oval lighting, sporting grounds and equipment.

“Our commitment today is another example of the State Liberals’ focus on improving community sporting facilities which encourage a healthy and active lifestyle,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“The State Liberals understand the importance of recreation clubs and sporting grounds and their role in increasing the health and wellbeing of local communities.

“Keeping our children fit and healthy is important and we should be doing everything we can to encourage our children to participate in sport and fitness activities.”

Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation Iain Evans said today’s announcement was righting a wrong made by the Weatherill Labor Government.

“Premier Weatherill must explain why he is cutting this important funding to the Community Recreation and Sports Facilities program,” said Mr Evans.

“The State Liberals will continue to work with grassroots organisations to maintain and upgrade existing facilities to ensure that all South Australian communities have access to safe and engaging facilities.

“South Australians deserve a Government with better priorities to put our State back on track.”

Country sport and recreation allows regional communities to thrive, said Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick who welcomed the announcement.

"Sport and recreation is extremely important in regional communities," said Mr Pederick.

“Participation such as Saturday morning sport keeps regional communities alive and thriving and promotes an active and healthy lifestyle.

“I am delighted that Steven Marshall and the State Liberals have committed to reinstate funding to this important initiative.”