THE Nationals have promised to redirect government funding from Etihad Stadium back into sporting clubs across regional Victoria if elected in November.
Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said funding currently earmarked for the AFL would be better allocated to local sporting clubs lacking basic amenities such as female change rooms, canteens 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,” Ms Ryan said.
“While facilities at Barrack Reserve have been redone recently, smaller towns such as Colbinabbin and Mt Pleasant are still looking for money for upgrades.
“Projects like these are more deserving of taxpayers’ money in my book than Etihad Stadium.
“Giving a $225 million taxpayer funded handout to the AFL while community sporting clubs are only being offered concessional loans from the state government shows how Daniel Andrews and his local MPs have their priorities all wrong.”
Ms Ryan said redirecting the money to community sport would benefit a considerable number 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,” Ms Ryan said.
“If elected this November, we will redirect every dollar we can from the funds that the state 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.”