State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has called on the Minister for Sport to explain why women in the Newcastle Local Government Area have been excluded from applying for money from the $50 million sports funding announced last month.
The Minister announced that $50 million is available for the delivery and enhancement of women’s sporting facilities, including change rooms.
There is a lack of adequate facilities for women in local sport and this can be a barrier to female participation in sport. This funding will provide new and improved amenities to make it easier for girls and women to dominate on the field or courts.
When Ms Hornery enquired about the fund, the Minister’s office advised that the Newcastle LGA was excluded from applying and there were no plans for a specific fund that they could apply for.
“What we have here is another example of this Government deciding when Newcastle is classed as regional and when it is classed as metro,” Ms Hornery said.
“For a long time, sportswomen and many sports dominated by female participants have missed out on their fair share of funding and a fund like this has been much needed.
“Last year I jointly hosted a Women in Sports roundtable with our Shadow Minister for Sport, Lynda Voltz, Member for Gosford and Paralympian gold medallist Liesl Tesch, and my Hunter parliamentary colleagues, where we heard first-hand the conditions women in sports face with a lack of change rooms and facilities.
“So when I heard about a fund specifically for the provision of new and improved female change rooms, I felt a sense of excitement, but that was soon dashed when the Ministers office advised that Newcastle would again be excluded from any funding.
“I would like the Minister to explain to the women of Newcastle why he considers them to be less important than those in the rest of NSW. Why do they not deserve to be included in the fund or have a similar fund for them to apply for?
“If the idea here is to level the playing field between men and women’s sport, then why are women in Newcastle less deserving?
“I will be asking the Minister to explain this in Parliament today,” said Ms Hornery.