Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (17:58): My adjournment matter is directed to the Honourable Ros Spence, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Community Sport and Minister for Youth. This adjournment matter relates to the portfolio responsibilities of community sport. The Andrews Labor government has taken the initiative to provide help for sporting clubs to negotiate restrictions through the sporting club grants program. The proposed plan intends to deliver more support for grassroots sports clubs and their members, with new payments of $2000. The proposed grant from the sporting club grants program is available for clubs that have incurred costs that cannot be recouped after events or activities were cancelled or postponed. Under this program the costs that can be claimed include cancellation fees for facilities, coaches and officials as well as the loss of perishable goods and booking fees. This is part of the government’s endeavour to make sport more accessible and inclusive, boost local economies and build sustainable sport and recreation. It also aims to create volunteer opportunities and increase local participation.
This funding would be of great assistance to those clubs and organisations reeling under the strain of the pandemic crisis. This is an initiative to help and support them as some of them have suffered hefty losses due to the cancellation of their events. Many community sporting clubs have been recovering, and with this financial support those clubs will resume their momentum in no time. It is worthy of mention that since 2014 more than $12 million has been allocated to support approximately 8100 sporting clubs across the state. Furthermore, the Victorian government has allocated more than $30 million to clubs, leagues, state associations and other organisations through the community sport sector COVID-19 short-term survival package. The action I seek from the minister is to provide me with an update on how the government is promoting this important initiative and how this funding will benefit the sporting clubs of the Western Metropolitan Region.
Ros Spence MP Minister for Community Sport (14 July 2021):
I thank the Member for her question and for her continued support of community sport in the Western Metropolitan Region.
As the Member has noted, the Sporting Club Grants Program provided funding to assist sporting clubs that have incurred costs that cannot be recouped after events or activities were cancelled or postponed during the recent May/June 2021 lockdown.
On 7 June 2021, I announced a one-off funding category that provided funding of $2,000 for eligible Victorian sport and recreation organisations that were forced to cancel or postpone events or activities as a result of the May/June 2021 lockdown.
Media releases were issued to promote the reopening of the program, and it was also promoted via a newsletter from Sport and Recreation Victoria to previous applicants of recent funding programs. In addition, advice was sent through recognised State Sporting Associations, State Sport and Active Recreation Bodies, Regional Sports Assemblies, Regional Academies of Sport, Local Government Authorities and Sport and Recreation Victoria’s Regional Victoria team, with a request to notify their local sporting clubs and any other networks.
202 organisations received a total of $404,000 from this funding round. Of this, $64,000 in funding was provided to 32 clubs from the Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley and Wyndham Local Government Authorities.
I commend the Member for Western Metropolitan Region for her continued interest in the community sport and recreation sector, and particularly local sporting clubs in her electorate.