Graham Edwards

Graham Edwards

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    Opposition plan to scrap Sport and Recreation Ministry slammed

    27/01/1993 12:00 AM
     
     
    Sport and Recreation Minister Graham Edwards said today the Opposition would use sport as a scapegoat to help fund its election promises.
     
    "The Ministry of Sport and Recreation is an innovative, Statewide organisation, committed to improving the well-being of Western Australians through sport and recreation," Mr Edwards said.
     
    "Yesterday, the Opposition announced it would abolish it under their policy.
     
    "This will put the jobs of 150 ordinary people at risk because the Opposition needs to save money to pay for its lavish election promises.
     
    "Richard Court should come clean and say just how many jobs would go.
     
    "He has doggedly refused to say where he would get the extra the extra revenue from, but the Opposition's sports policy released yesterday gives us at least one clue."
     
    Mr Edwards said in one fell swoop the Opposition would wipe out a decade of tremendous development in sport and achievement in getting more and more people of all ages involved in recreational activity.
     
    "Not only could 150 people lose their jobs, but all their accumulated skill, knowledge and liaison with more than 100 sporting associations would be thrown out of the window."
     
    Mr Edwards said the Opposition's plan to replace the ministry with a commission made up of five to seven part-time commissioners was an indication that the Opposition had very little interest in promoting sport and recreation.
     
    It would be a step back to the '70s, when the Liberals had a variety of bodies trying to run sport in Western Australia, which all self-destructed because the sporting community would not accept non-sports people making policy decisions on their behalf.
     
    "Amazingly, the Opposition is also talking about restructuring the WA Football Commission," Mr Edwards said.
     
    "It is the height of stupidity when you have politicians wanting to run football in this State.
     
    "What gives them the right to interfere when football - or any sport for that matter - does not seek that interference?"
     
    The Government has a proud record of sport and recreation in this State, and Sport and Recreation Minister Graham Edwards will fight to maintain it.