House debates

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Statements by Members

Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program

1:40 pm

Photo of Tim WattsTim Watts (Gellibrand, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications) Share this | | Hansard source

Downer Oval, the home of the Williamstown Football Club Seagulls, is famous for its exposure to the gale-force winds of Port Phillip Bay. When the southerly blows, it feels like it's coming straight in from Antarctica. It's an infamous part of playing at the ground. Kicking into the wind, you're lucky to be able to make the distance from the top of the goal square when that southerly is blowing. The football club didn't know it, but when it lodged an application for a grant to build women's change facilities at the ground it was facing a disadvantage even greater than any headwind that's hit the ground. Despite Sports Australia giving its application a 74 out of 100, a good enough score for the project to be funded if the project was straight up and down according to the Auditor-General, they were dudded.

Hundreds of women and girls from across Melbourne's west would use the Williamstown Football Club facilities each year, but the PM didn't care about them because they lived in the wrong electorate. Ninety-four grant applications with lower scores than the Williamstown Football Club received grants ahead of it in the first ground of this program. But the PM insists this is all above board, that there are no politics involved in this rort, that all he cares about is ensuring women don't have to change behind the bushes. If he really believes this, I invite him to come to Williamstown to meet the women and girls of the Willie football club. I'll even arrange a baseball cap for him, and he can explain why when they had a go they didn't get a go, and he can tell them why they are not getting funding from the Morrison government.