Central Victorian Clubs Invited to Sports Rorts Public Hearing

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has met with members of the Kyneton District Soccer Club to show her support ahead of Thursday’s Public Hearing by the Senate Select Committee on the Administration of Sports Grants.

It comes after the club were caught up in the ‘Sports Rorts’ saga, missing out on funding to upgrade their pitch through the Community Sport Infrastructure program, despite receiving a score of 87/100 from Sport Australia.

The City of Greater Bendigo have also been invited to the hearing, to speak on the Garden Gully Hockey Facility upgrade, which received a score of 86/100 and missed out on funding.

“Both of these projects scored high for a reason. They were ranked on community participation, community need and project design,” Chesters said

“Our community has missed out on almost $1 million of sporting infrastructure upgrades because of this corrupt process.

“I’m calling on Scott Morrison to fund these projects immediately and restore the integrity of federal grant programs.

“Last week we learned the Prime Minister’s office and office of the former Sport Minister, Bridget McKenzie, requested and made changes to a final list of grant winners after caretaker conventions had commenced – decisions worth at least $2.7 million of taxpayer’s money.

“The Prime Minister should finally come clean about his role in the sport rorts scandal – and apologise to the hundreds of clubs he cheated out of funding, including the Kyneton Soccer Club and Garden Gully Hockey Pavilion’s users,” Chesters said.

Kyneton District Soccer Club President, Ron Cole is calling on the Federal Government to put measures in place to ensure what has happened to them will not happen to other clubs in the future.

“We feel the assessment process and program criteria conducted by Sport Australia seemed to be ignored for political gain.

“Not-for-profit clubs like ours are now left to struggle to achieve what the program could have delivered if proper process was followed.

“Volunteers who put hours into this application are now questioning the worth of such schemes if their efforts are not rewarded on merit or need,” Cole said.