Ahead of this morning’s (Saturday) Meeting of Sport and Recreation Ministers in Sydney, Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni has called out the Morrison Government for “doing next to nothing” to help Queensland children in low-income families play sport.
Mr de Brenni called on the Federal LNP to “lift its game” and implement the recommendation of a new report commissioned by the Palaszczuk Government to introduce a national voucher system of up to $250 for families receiving the Family Tax Benefit.
He said this would complement the Palaszczuk Government’s scheme which provides $150 to children whose parents hold Centrelink pensioner or health care cards.
“At the moment, Queensland is doing the heavy lifting when it comes to helping families who don’t earn much money, to pay the bills that come with their children playing sport,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Through consultation with Queenslanders as part of our Sport and Active Recreation Strategy, we found that affordability is one of the most pressing issues facing families and the time has come for the Federal LNP to lift its game on this.
“As agreed at last year’s meeting, I will be sharing the findings of a KPMG report which highlights how families earning less than $45,000 a year only have a sport participation rate of 40 per cent.
“That figure more than doubles for those on more than $200,000 a year.
“Earlier this year, the Federal Sport Minister released a national sport plan called Sport 2030, which doesn’t outline any solutions to tackling the problem.
“Considering the Federal LNP does little to nothing to help cover the cost of junior sport for low income families, it’s time they ensured a level playing field.
“I’ll be calling on the Morrison Government at today’s meeting to establish a national voucher scheme to help these families. Our research conducted by KPMG shows this would be the most effective and efficient system to address affordability in sport.”
Mr de Brenni also criticised a 'discussion item’ at the roundtable for the Australian Sports Commission to set a target of 40 per cent of women on national sporting boards.
“That is simply unacceptable and shows just how out of touch the Federal LNP really is,” Mr de Brenni said. “Women make up half of the population and should make up half of boards.
“The Palaszczuk Government is leading by example, with around 50 per cent of women in Cabinet,” he said.
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni