Safe Labor seat of Rankin misses out on Community Sport Infrastructure funding

LABOR'S safest federal seat in Queensland received 88 times less Community Sport Infrastructure grant funding than the marginal LNP seat of Brisbane leading up to the 2019 poll.

UNIMPRESSED: Rankin MP Jim Chalmers says his community has been neglected with only $16,400 in Community Sport Infrastructure funding.

UNIMPRESSED: Rankin MP Jim Chalmers says his community has been neglected with only $16,400 in Community Sport Infrastructure funding.

The Rankin electorate, which covers parts of Logan and Brisbane's southside, was allocated $16,400, or nine cents per person, in grant funding.

This makes up 0.08 per cent of Queensland's $21 million in Community Sport Infrastructure grants.

Meanwhile, the pre-election marginal LNP seats of Dawson ($12.57 per person), Brisbane ($7.92 per person), Petrie ($6.36 per person) and Forde ($5.53 per person) were among the top five electorates to benefit from the program and received between $1 million and $2,004,632 each.

Only the Labor seat of Blair received a significant funding slice with $1,094,897 while Moreton ($271,110) and Oxley ($248,462) were on the lower end of the spectrum.

The Community Sport Infrastructure Fund was set up to boost local sport infrastructure and promote greater participation in physical activity.

Labor's shadow treasurer and Rankin MP Jim Chalmers said the grant funding imbalance showed the Liberals and Nationals had utter disdain for his community.

"This is an absolute disgrace and more evidence of the Liberals and Nationals using taxpayer money to look after their mates," he said.

"Our community has produced some of Australia's top athletes like Cameron Smith, Katie Brennan and Nick Cummins, but the Liberals and Nationals are stealing the next generation's chance by funelling money into their own backyards.

"The Liberals and Nationals owe people living in the southern suburbs of Brisbane and in Logan an apology."

In Senate Estimates last week, it was revealed that Deputy Nationals leader and former Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie used her ministerial discretion to reject hundreds of grant applications recommended for funding by Sport Australia.

Federal Sport Minister Richard Colbeck said each application was individually assessed according to criteria including community participation, community need, project design and delivery.

"Recommendations were provided to the then Minister for Sport (Bridget McKenzie), who was the Grant Delegate, for final decision and approval," Mr Colbeck said.

"Projects include upgrades to female change room facilities, lighting upgrades for local sporting clubs and surface upgrades to ensure a safer sporting environment."

Ms McKenzie's office was contacted for comment, but a reply was not received by deadline.

LNP member for Forde Bert van Manen did not comment on Dr Chalmer's point, but said he would continue to advocate for upgrades to sporting infrastructure in his electorate.

"Our local sporting organisations are often run by volunteers and aren't just clubs where people go to play or watch sports, but hubs for community, running many events that benefit the wider community," he said.

The Ormeau Junior Rugby League Football Club ($500,000), Beenleigh Multisports Association ($245,000) and Logan Basketball ($264,618) were among sporting organisations in Forde to receive grants.

In Wright, the Beaudesert Bowls Club, Cahill Park Sports Complex, Jimboomba Little Athletics, Jimboomba Netball Association, Lockyer Valley Regional Council and Tamborine Pony Club received a combined $866,533.00.

Comments