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Coalition to further boost country sport services, funding
30/01/2001 2:22 PM
A Coalition Government will spend an extra $1 million over the next three years to significantly boost sport and recreation services in regional Western Australia.
Sport and Recreation Minister Norman Moore also pledged ongoing funding of $377,000 a year to support a restructure which would see more Sport and Recreation WA staff working for country sports-people.
Mr Moore announced the formation of the Premier’s Physical Activity Taskforce as part of a $1.5 million a year strategy to encourage more Western Australians to improve their fitness.
These are two of the main initiatives in the Coalition’s comprehensive Sport and Recreation Policy announced by Mr Moore today.
He said a Coalition Government would also inject $9 million a year - an increase of $1.25 million a year - into its highly-successful Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund (CSRFF) program.
The Coalition would also:
double its funding to the award-winning Country Sport Enrichment Scheme, which takes national and international sporting events and high-profile athletes into country areas; and -
provide an extra $250,000 a year to improve water safety awareness, education and training in conjunction with Royal Life Saving Society WA and Surf Life Saving WA.
Mr Moore said that nine regional offices in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne, Mid-West, Goldfields, Wheatbelt, Peel, South-West and Great Southern would benefit from the Coalition plan to further improve sporting services to country WA.
The major change would be to the structure of regional offices to ensure more effective regional management, including an increase in staff numbers which will provide extra resources to support community needs.
It followed comprehensive consultation with local government and sport and recreation groups.
Mr Moore said that the lure of television, the Internet and computer games posed a significant threat to the growth in sport and recreational activities in Western Australia.
“While WA leads the nation in participation levels, many people are not active or healthy enough, and this needs to change,” he said.
“The Premier’s taskforce will develop a comprehensive Physical Activity Strategy to implement community-based physical activity initiatives.
“It will target key groups, including adolescent boys, seniors, young women and indigenous Western Australians.”
Mr Moore said the Coalition had set a challenge for a five per cent increase in activity levels over the next decade. If this level was achieved, it would mean annual health savings of $30 million for WA.
He said that since the Coalition had come to power, it had provided $68 million to local government and local sporting groups through the CSRFF.
This money had helped fund more than 1,300 sport and recreation capital works projects throughout the State.
About 70 per cent of the projects had been in regional WA.
The promise of an extra $1.25 million a year would add substantially to funding which could be made available to local communities over the next four years.
Mr Moore also said a Coalition Government would revise the CSRFF funding guidelines to ensure that small, disadvantaged local governments would only be required to contribute 50 per cent of the cost of the project (66 per cent under existing guidelines).
He said that without doubt, the Country Sport Enrichment Scheme had been one of the Coalition’s most successful initiatives.
This was set to continue with the Coalition promising to double funding for the scheme which had enabled top-class sporting teams and sports-people to travel, play and coach throughout the State.
Hartley Joynt 9321 1444