Community sport and recreation

In Parliament - Thursday, 4 June 2015

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (11:30:45): I move: That this house—

(a) recognises the benefits of grassroots community sport and recreation to South Australia; and

(b) urges the state government to reverse its decision to reduce funding to the Community Recreation a nd Sport Facilities Program by $3.5 million per annum from 2015-16.

(Other speakers)

Mr DULUK (Davenport) (12:30:35): I also rise to speak very briefly—30 seconds—on this debate.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thirty seconds? Okay.

Mr DULUK: Well, the member for Chaffey told me that is all I have. Sporting clubs and community groups are definitely the backbone of many of our local communities, and in my electorate of Davenport I have two fantastic sporting clubs of note: the Flagstaff Hill Football Club and the Blackwood Football Club. They really are the centre of their communities and really do bind the communities together.

Support for our communities is most important, and it does more than just bring communities together. It brings out the best of volunteering in our communities and it gives someone like my good self, who has never been the best sportsman but who is a really strong enthusiast, the ability to get involved in sporting clubs. For many years, up until last year, I was heavily involved with the Adelaide University Football Club as a team manager and a great support staff. Whilst I did play a few games for the Blacks I was never knocking on the door of the first 18 in division I, but it gave someone like me a great sense of community, pride and place.

That is what local communities do, and it is the same with the footy clubs in my area, Flaggies and Blackwood. They rely on volunteers and they provide many options to the community. Of course, they double up with many other sports and sporting hubs as well. The Flagstaff Hill Rotary Club meets at the Flagstaff footy club, as well as the netball club and the tennis club; they all meet at that same complex.

Funding our local communities is extremely important, and it is really a shame that over the last couple of years local clubs have had their funding reduced. It is in supporting local communities that we ultimately get a better society.