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Community sports groups seek SA State Election promises

Community sports groups seek SA State Election promises
March 17, 2010

State peak body Sport SA has demanded that South Australia's major political parties declare their stance on community sports funding before Saturday's South Australian election.

Executive Officer Jan Sutherland said grass roots sporting groups had been overshadowed by the city stadium debate, stating "what about the rest of sport? ... what about the value of physical activity and health in the community?

"We hear about what they've (parties) done and we acknowledge that, but we haven't heard what they will do."

Sport SA held a pre-election meeting with Sports Minister Michael Wright and his Liberal counterpart Terry Stephens on 2nd March, but Sutherland said many questions went unanswered.

"Our questions were very specific about an increase in funding and we didn't get the answers."

The State Government has announced plans to build community sports hubs in Port Augusta and Campbelltown, and Minister Wright said a plan due in April would identify more hub locations.

"But apart from those two (Port Augusta and Campbelltown) we haven't seen from either side what else," Sutherland added.

"We've seen the stadium worth anywhere between $450 million and $800 million, but not even a small percentage has been allocated for community sport."

Stephens said if elected, his party would allocate 25% of mining royalties up to $40 million in the first year to a regional infrastructure development fund.

He said that money would aid the development of sports projects in rural communities, but he did not address specific needs.

Hockey SA needs $4 million to upgrade its headquarters at State Sports Park, Softball SA wants $1 million to upgrade lights at West Beach and Baseball SA wants to build a $4 million headquarters at Gepps Cross.
Reece Homfray, The Advertiser


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