MINISTER SPLURGES REGIONAL FUNDING SPONSORING CITY SPORT

Wednesday, 11 October 2023

MP questions cutting bush programs while funding NSW cricket side

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today put a series of questions to Regional NSW Minister Tara Moriarty on her decision this week to use her department to sponsor the NSW Blues cricket team while simultaneously cutting millions of dollars from regional-specific grant programs.

Mr Marshall said the Minister owed country communities an explanation as to why the government would sponsor a professional Sydney-based sporting team with vital funds from the Department of Regional NSW, while taking the axe to multiple regional funding programs and grants in the recent State Budget.

“The Minister clearly has some serious explaining to do about her priorities in the portfolio,” Mr Marshall said.

“As much as people in country NSW love our sport, especially cricket in the summer, it’s farcical and downright insulting to use what little regional-specific funding survived the government’s budget razor gang to sponsor an elite city-based cricket team.

“Meanwhile, country councils, seniors and communities have seen previous regional funding programs, cost of living assistance and rebates slashed.

“The Department of Regional NSW should be using its money to support country communities, not professional sport based in Sydney.

“This is a bitter pill to swallow for country people, given the context of the recent Budget where it seemed like anything with the word ‘regional’ were cut or axed completely.

“The popular Regional Seniors Travel card was cut, alongside the Resources for the Regions Program as well as all the regional specific sport, cultural and community infrastructure funding programs.

“On the face of it, it’s an outrageous decision with terrible optics, reflecting wrong priorities and I have asked the Minister for a full explanation as to how it was made and where the money is coming from.”

The Department of Regional NSW and the Cricket NSW Men’s Team, the Blues, made the joint sponsorship announcement this week.

Under the deal, the Department’s logo will appear on the shirts worn by players during the Blues’ Marsh One-Day and the NSW Sheffield Shield strip.

The Minister has 35 calendar days to answer Mr Marshall’s questions on the notice paper.

 

Mr Marshall’s questions are:

My questions are to the Minister for Regional NSW:
1. When was the decision made to sponsor the NSW Blues?
2. Can you advise regarding the decision-making process for this sponsorship?
3. Did the NSW Blues approach you or the Government directly for sponsorship, or did you or the Government approach Cricket NSW?
4. How much is the sponsorship worth?
5. What is the duration of the sponsorship?
6. Can you advise regarding the conditions and benefits as part of the sponsorship deal?
7. Is the sponsorship funding new money allocated in the 2023/24 Budget or existing funding taken from another program?

11 October 2023

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