The Palaszczuk Government has “scored a win” in its bid to pressure the Federal LNP to do more to help Queensland children in low-income families participate in sport, Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said today (Thursday).
Mr de Brenni said he was “pleased” the weekend’s Meeting of Sport and Recreation Ministers in Sydney referred his call for the Federal LNP to introduce a national voucher system to the Committee of Australian Sport and Recreation Officials (CASRO).
“It’s a win in that they didn’t say no, but for a Federal LNP focussed on tax cuts for the rich, welfare cuts for pensioners and the lowest wage rises in memory; it will be a miracle if the Prime Minister finds the compassion to support struggling families.
“At Saturday’s roundtable in Sydney, I stressed that the Federal LNP – who do little to nothing to help families cover the cost of sport for low income families – should introduce a voucher of up to $250 for families receiving the Family Tax Benefit,” Mr de Brenni.
“That’s because there needs to be a level playing field when it comes to helping Queensland children in low-income families play sport.
“The Palaszczuk Government is giving families a leg-up by providing $150 to children whose parents hold Centrelink pensioner or health care cards, which is helping cover the cost associated with playing sport.
“It would appear the Australian Olympic Committee’s CEO Matt Carroll agrees with my calls for the Federal Government to lift its funding game, stressing in a recent speech that investment in sport needs to be for participation and performance, saying: “No participants, no talent to rise to the top. No elite talent, no inspiration for participants”.”
Mr de Brenni said the Sydney roundtable also agreed to refer to CASRO the findings of a report commissioned by the Palaszczuk Government, which highlighted 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, according to the report.
“The Federal LNP’s national sport plan, Sport 2030, doesn’t outline any solutions to tackling this problem,” he said.
“The CASRO are due to report back on the report’s findings, and the voucher proposal before the next Meeting of Sport and Recreation Ministers in the first half of next year.”
Mr de Brenni said Queensland and the other Labor states forced the roundtable “to review” a discussion item for the Australian Sports Commission to set a target to 40 per cent of women on national sporting boards.
“I stressed how that was totally unacceptable, because women make up half of the population and should make up half of boards,” he said.
“While the Palaszczuk Government is leading by example, with around 50 per cent of women in Cabinet – the Federal LNP, like their Queensland colleagues, seemingly struggle with this concept.
“The roundtable agreed to review the National Policy Framework on Women and Girls to address Queensland’s position of a fifty per cent target for executive positions and board positions.
“I’m eagerly awaiting the outcome – but unfortunately I think it’s safe to say resolving this issue will be more like a marathon than a sprint for the Federal LNP,” he said.
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni