Wollongong electorate’s sporting group funding allocation under the Local Sport Grant Program has been cut to just $35,000 while neighbouring electorates in Keira, Shellharbour and Kiama will have access to an allocation of $85,000 in total funding under the program – all apparently because of the drought.
Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully said he was outraged by the cut to the funding allocation and has written to the acting Minister for Sport, Geoff Lee, requesting the full $85,000 funding allocation is made available to sporting groups in the Wollongong electorate.
The Wollongong electorate has been classed as a ‘zone 2’ area for funding under the Local Sport Grant Program while the neighbouring electorates of Keira, Shellharbour and Kiama are classed as ‘zone 1’ areas. ‘Zone 1’ areas have been determined to be severely affected by drought according to the Government.
There is a $50,000 difference in the allocation of funding under the program for each electorate in each zone.
Mr Scully said while he had no problem with any neighbouring area having access to the full funding allocation under the program, he was angry that the drought was being used as a cover for a major funding cut.
“It is disgusting that the drought is being used this way to justify a funding cut to a sport program.
“I really had no idea that the drought was having a greater impact on Corrimal and Warilla and Kiama than it is in Wollongong.
“This is a disgraceful decision and I have written to the Minister requesting an immediate review of the zone classification for the Wollongong electorate under this program.
“It is a further unacceptable snub to Wollongong sporting groups which are already banned from seeking funding under sporting facility upgrade programs because we are not classified as either regional or metropolitan”, he said.