Will Napthine continue to back the community support fund?

The Napthine Government is likely to abandon local soccer clubs in the upcoming State Budget, State Member for Monbulk, James Merlino said.

Mr Merlino said local clubs, who may need upgraded or new facilities such as pitches, change rooms, lights, toilets and clubrooms could be left stranded if Mr Napthine fails to continue funding the Community Support Fund.

Mr Merlino said the previous Labor Government had allocated funding to assist clubs to improve facilities and help them grow with the local community.

“Families in the Monbulk Electorate have witnessed the devastating impact of the Napthine Government’s cuts to education, health and TAFE sectors and it seems the next to suffer could be local soccer clubs,” Mr Merlino said.

“The world game continues to have strong growth in our area and with that growth there is a responsibility on the Napthine Government to ensure that clubs have access to funding to support them.

“The Napthine Government must ensure there is new and appropriate funding committed to the Community Support Fund in the State Budget.

“There has always been a strong sporting culture in this region and with that strength and growth there needs to be government support.

“It is not good enough for this do nothing Napthine Government to sit on its hands and not appropriately fund community sporting clubs that play such a vital in the role in our local area.

“Sports Minister Hugh Delahunty and Mr Napthine must explain if the Community Support Fund program funding will be continued, how much will be provided and if any other programs will be axed or short-changed that may impact clubs in Monbulk,” James Merlino said.