Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, launched a new petition calling on the Federal Government and the ABC to restore the National Broadcasting of WNBL matches today.
At one of the Bendigo Spirit’s last home games, Lisa Chesters will be joined by volunteers to ask Spirit fans to sign a petition that calls on the House of Representatives to:
- restore the $254 million in budget cuts to the ABC
- support the ABC Board to enable the continuation of the television broadcasting of women's sport including the WNBL
As a result of the Federal Government cuts to ABC funding, the 2014/15 Wattle Valley WNBL season will be the last shown on ABC TV live around Australia.
This decision will end ABC’s 35-year broadcast of WNBL and their positive promotion of elite women’s Basketball in Australia.
“This decision will have a massive impact on women’s elite sport in this country."
“I am concerned at the impact this decision will have on key sponsors and therefore, the ability of teams to be able to pay their players fair wages.
“I agree with Bendigo Spirit Coach Bernie Harrower that this decision “will drive out key sponsors and strip the team of half of its players.
“I also believe that removing the national broadcast of the WNBL will have an impact on the showcasing of regional sporting hubs with elite sports teams such as our Bendigo Spirit.
“You cannot underestimate the impact of simply mentioning “Bendigo Spirit” in a live broadcast has on our sporting reputation.
“Bendigo Spirit are currently back-to-back WNBL champions and this year could go a “hat trick” or three in a row, which is a huge achievement for regional sport.
With only a few games left in the 2014/15 now is the time to call on the Federal Government and the ABC Board to rethink their decision to axe the live broadcasting of the WNBL and other major women’s sports.