The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath is encouraging community groups, golf clubs, local government, businesses and other interested individuals to make a submission on the recently-released Planning for Golf in Victoria Discussion Paper.
A 2016 study commissioned by Golf Victoria found that golf is one of the state’s most popular sports, with over 300,000 participants. Golf makes a significant economic contribution to Victoria each year, contributing $883.6 million in economic and health benefits, and supporting 6,900 full-time jobs.
Every year, Victoria’s golf clubs generate $152 million through golf tourism, attracting both domestic and international visitors, which in turn supports local businesses and jobs.
Notwithstanding these impressive figures, the sport is not without its challenges, especially at the grassroots level.
The Planning for Golf in Victoria Discussion Paper identifies the key challenges and opportunities for golf in Victoria, both short and long term, including:
- Busier lives and rising living costs are influencing the overall number of people playing golf
- A view that there are too many clubs and events, with competition for members through reduced membership prices raising concerns about long term sustainability
- Nearly half of Victorian golf clubs are experiencing some level of financial stress
- Small clubs are relying heavily on volunteers to keep their courses open and playable
- Recruiting new volunteers is a challenge and succession planning is a major concern
- Clubs are struggling to balance the entitlements of members with an increasing number of social players
- Golf doesn’t generally appeal to youth and traditional membership offers
- The administrative burden for clubs is increasing, with a greater need for club support and more knowledge sharing.
A special Planning for Golf in Victoria Task Force will consider all submissions received and make final recommendations on ways to support the long-term growth and sustainability of the sport in Victoria, in a report due in November 2017.
“Gippsland has many fantastic golf courses and a lot of wonderful community-based clubs,” Ms Bath said.
“Golf is an important sport and recreational activity for improving the liveability of our region and generates multiple social, economic and environmental benefits.”
“I actively encourage all interested people and groups to make a submission to the Task Force on this important discussion paper.”
The discussion paper is available at engage.vic.gov.au/planning-golf-victoria.
Submissions must be made in writing and can be submitted via the website or posted to:
Planning for Golf in Victoria
Level 14, 8 Nicholson Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Submissions close on 14 August 2017.