Sports voucher scheme

Mr DULUK (Waite) (15:14): My question is to the Minister for Sport and Recreation. Minister, what measures will you take to ensure that sporting and recreational activities undertaken by the Scouts and Girl Guides are supported by the state government's $100 Sports Vouchers scheme? Sir, with your leave and that of the house, I will further explain.

[Leave granted]

Mr DULUK: Last week I met with Scouts SA's Chief Commissioner, Jan Turbill, at Belair Scouts, who brought to my attention the fact that under the current scheme their organisations and members are not eligible for the government's reimbursement. These important community groups provide a sense of belonging, teach our youth many life skills, and get their members outside participating in sport and recreation—similar social benefits that sports clubs provide the community.

Due to the nature of the commitment, scouts and girl guides are, for some families, a full-time commitment, and these families may not have the same opportunity as sporting families to access this participation-initiated voucher.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (15:15): I thank the member for his question about our Sports Vouchers program. I am very happy to talk about this, because it is been incredibly successful.

When we came to government, we took the previous $50 voucher and expanded it to $100 for primary school-age children. Of course, that lowers the cost of living for families, and we are very keen to be doing that. We came into government and said, 'More jobs, lower costs, and better services,' and this is one of those lower costs initiatives.

Can I just say that whenever I am around this place I will come around a corner and the member for King will be there wanting to talk to me about this program. She is a huge advocate for this program, and how important it has been in her electorate. I want to commend her for that, and recognise the money we are putting into this program.

If I go back to when Labor were in government, they had some 58,000 sports vouchers in their last year, some $2.9 million spent on this project. When we came in, we put the significant increase in to make sure that people got the full benefit and, as I said, money went back into the pockets of families and it got their young people playing sport. That put 74,600 vouchers, some $7.2 million, back into the pockets of South Australians.

We saw the value of this and so we expanded it. With the Sports Vouchers program we included swimming lessons, we added dance into the mix as well, and that just grew the number of participants. It has been a huge success across the board, as well as making it more affordable for families to get their young children playing sport.
We have put some $390 million in total into sport here in South Australia. That is improving, again, infrastructure that was allowed to fall into rack and ruin under those opposite, community sports infrastructure in all the electorates right across our state—improving that infrastructure, partnering with local government, local sporting organisations and the clubs themselves. This has been a massive win and it has been truly appreciated.

Along with that we have also put into mid-level sporting infrastructure, more district and regional sporting infrastructure, and then elite level sporting infrastructure as well, to help us get games in the Women's World Cup, to help attract international superstars to South Australia with the Adelaide International and the Day at the Drive. To have the world's best tennis players playing here has been so well received. When I go to those sporting clubs, at the grassroots where we are investing now you hear them talking about those big stars, those big names, and they want to emulate that.

Our project has been incredibly successful. Some $30 million was budgeted for our Sports Vouchers program over the four years, and this has all hinged around the Game On body of work we did. We did our infrastructure plan and we are delivering against that; as I said, $390 million is going into sport in total, and in the last budget $214 million, which the community appreciates.

Our Game On project is about getting people more active. We know that if we can get everyone doing 150 minutes of exercise per week we can reduce the health budget significantly, and that will be a great win for South Australia. So we are very focused on getting people active, getting them out there playing sports and being active. That has been a huge success.
Members interjecting:

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: On that side they make jokes and they laugh, because they don't care about sport, they don't care about the community. But we do. We care about getting people active, getting them active in our community. We have our programs in place—
[Members interjecting]

The SPEAKER: Members on my left!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —they have been highly successful, and we will keep rolling out those programs. We will keep getting people active in South Australia, and we will do everything we can to reduce that health budget.

Again, I commend the member for King for her advocacy for this program, because since we increased the investment the number of people who have got involved in sports, the number of people who have claimed these vouchers—

The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN: Point of order, sir.

The SPEAKER: The minister will resume his seat. The member for Lee on a point of order.

The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN: The question was very specific about how the Sports Vouchers program would be used to support the scouts.

[Members interjecting]

The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN: Number 97; can you count that high? I didn't think so.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Chaffey is warned for a second time.

[Members interjecting]

The SPEAKER: Order, members on my right! The member for Lee has the call.

The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN: The minister has not answered the member for Waite's question. I ask you to direct him to an answer, sir.

The SPEAKER: I don't uphold the point of order. The minister is addressing the substance of the question. I do draw the minister's attention to the more particular subject matter of the question. The minister has the call.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: We were talking about the sports vouchers and I was talking about the great success of those sports vouchers. In fact, the sports vouchers policy is exactly the same as it was under Labor when Scouts couldn't get it there anyway. So they couldn't do it under Labor but now they want it—and now it's more money. We are doubling the amount of money that goes into families so that they can reduce the cost of living. Like it was under Labor, it's exactly the same under this one. It's just double. It's just more money. I can tell you that people in Lee appreciate it. You can ring them all and ask them.
[Members interjecting]