The Nationals back community sport in the Valley

The Nationals will back community sport in the Latrobe Valley with grants to support upgrades and growth of our local sports clubs.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath and The Nationals candidate for Morwell Sheridan Bond this week invited Shadow Minister for Sport, Danny O’Brien, to visit Gaskin Park in Churchill to look at the need for new change rooms.

Ms Bath said The Nationals will be focused on grassroots and community sport, while Daniel Andrews chases an invitation to the Brownlow with a $225 million taxpayer-funded deal with the AFL on Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.

“It beggars belief that the Labor Party thinks giving a $225 million free kick to the AFL is fair when local sporting clubs in Latrobe Valley are struggling for basic facilities,” Ms Bath said.

“While the AFL gets a multi-million dollar free kick, the Andrews Labor Government is introducing a loan facility where grassroots clubs will have to come, cap-in-hand and borrow money to build facilities that they’ll then have to pay back.

Ms Bond, said Labor’s city centric attitude does not serve the Valley.

“There are many facilities in our local area that could do with an upgrade, such as the antiquated change rooms at Gaskin Park Football Netball Club in Churchill which are no longer fit-for-purpose.

“Built decades ago the Churchill football change rooms are woefully inadequate. The club, which runs multiple junior and senior teams and a women’s team, has a masterplan for new rooms ready and waiting so Daniel Andrews should be supporting projects like this, not funding a seven star hotel and ballroom for the AFL in Docklands.

“We have to get our kids more active and it’s important we encourage female participation by building the appropriate facilities at our local sporting clubs,” Ms Bond said.

Mr O’Brien said it was incredibly important to support community sport and The Nationals will direct any money we can from Labor’s Etihad deal into community sport.

“Victorians love our AFL, but there will be no elite sport in the future if we don’t nurture grassroots clubs like Churchill and encourage our juniors – whether they’re playing Aussie rules, netball, cricket, soccer or any other sport that Victorians play.

“Projects like Churchill are more deserving of taxpayers’ money than Etihad Stadium.”