The Budget has delivered nothing but another big slap in the face to grassroots sports clubs snubbed in the Morrison Government’s shameful Sports Rorts scandal.
After being caught out by the independent Auditor-General for funnelling millions of dollars in sports grants into marginal and target seats before the 2019 Election, both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer have tried to make the issue go away by saying they would provide more funding in the Budget.
“There are many other projects that you would like to support, and the Treasurer and I will consider that as we go forward.” – Scott Morrison, National Press Club, 29 January 2020
“I will work with the Treasurer to see how we can better support even more projects in the future.” – Scott Morrison, National Press Club, 29 January 2020
“What the Prime Minister has foreshadowed is given the strong community need and the importance of supporting these sporting organisations, we would, in the context of the Budget, revisit a program of this type. A support, to support the actual sporting clubs.” – Josh Frydenberg, ABC, Insiders, 2 February 2020
“Funding these important infrastructure projects is and has been a priority of this government. The program received applications for some $400 million and we allocated $100 million. As I said last week, we think that this infrastructure is important to local communities. I did say at the Press Club last week that I will be working with the Treasurer as we prepare for this year’s budget to see how we can provide further support for this important infrastructure that brings communities together.” – Scott Morrison, 5 February, Question Time
“I believe funding community sports infrastructure always has merit.” – Scott Morrison, 5 February, Question Time
As usual, Scott Morrison is all talk.
He was there for the photo ops pre-election but has deserted community sporting clubs now that he can’t see any political gain in supporting them.
After building up the hopes of the hundreds of deserving community sports clubs his government ripped off, he has again treated them with complete contempt.
Scott Morrison was happy to splurge hundreds of millions of dollars on sport projects he thought could win him an election but clearly has no intention of making right on his rort and no understanding of how sport is hurting.
The Australian Sports Foundation has reported that more than 16,000 community sports clubs could be forced to close their doors permanently because of the impacts of COVID-19.
But while Scott Morrison was happy to make Bridget McKenzie his Sports Rorts scapegoat for awarding a grant to a shooting club she was a member of, it seems he’s now gun shy when it comes to grassroots sport funding.
The millions of Australians who take part in or volunteer in community sport every week all deserve so much better than a Prime Minister and a Treasurer with nothing to offer but empty promises.