Sport fund cut crit­i­cised

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Training & Education - By BRYCE LUFF

THE State Govern­ment has been crit­i­cised af­ter it was re­vealed the Com­mu­nity Sport and Recre­ation Fa­cil­i­ties Fund would be cut from $20 mil­lion to $7 mil­lion dur­ing the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year.

The fund, in­tro­duced in 1975, is used to help lo­cal gov­ern­ments and com­mu­nity groups de­velop sport and recre­ation in­fra­struc­ture, with a goal to in­creas­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion in phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties.

In Cock­burn, the Govern­ment has pro­vided more than $4 mil­lion for 16 projects in­clud­ing the recre­ation cen­tre at Cock­burn Cen­tral West, the Coogee Beach Surf Life Sav­ing Club at Poore Grove and con­struc­tion of the pav­il­ion at Ham­mond Re­serve.

Across the State in 2014-15, about $19.5 mil­lion was paid to 110 coun­cils and com­mu­nity groups on projects in­clud­ing the re­de­vel­op­ment of Man­durah Aquatic and Recre­ation Cen­tre, re­de­vel­op­ment of Mills Park in Beck­en­ham, and de­vel­op­ment of play­ing fields at Ray Fin­layson sport­ing com­plex in Kal­go­or­lie.

The WA Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion has de­scribed the slash in fund­ing as a back­ward step, with pres­i­dent Troy Pickard say­ing it was a con­tra­dic­tion of the State’s pro­mo­tion of sport in WA.

“These are the fa­cil­i­ties at the heart of lo­cal sports and recre­ation,” he said.

“These are the places that bring com­mu­ni­ties to­gether and pro­mote a healthy life­style. They are a cen­tral part of the West Aus­tralian life­style that we trea­sure.”

Sport and Recre­ation Min­is­ter Mia Davies said the cuts were a re­sponse to the State’s fi­nan­cial po­si­tion.

“The Govern­ment has in­vested heav­ily to re­build and up­grade sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties in al­most ev­ery lo­cal govern­ment shire in WA,” she said.

“There is still sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing avail­able for lo­cal gov­ern­ments and com­mu­nity groups to ac­cess each year.

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