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    Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing
    The Honourable Steve Dickson

    Labor mismanagement forces end of walking program

    Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing
    The Honourable Steve Dickson

    Thursday, August 09, 2012

    Labor mismanagement forces end of walking program

    Sport and Recreation Minister Steve Dickson has condemned Labor after discovering they failed to provide a proper funding stream for the Heart Foundation’s walking program while in Government.

    Mr Dickson said it meant the Newman Government would be unable renew the current arrangement when it expires at the end of the year.

    “In 2009 the former government made a conscious decision to only fund this program for three more years, despite the program having ongoing funding since the late 1990’s,” Mr Dickson said.

    “And rather than being paid for through a budgeted, transparent stream, money was redirected with no accountability from the Sport and Recreation Services grants budget, reducing the ability to fund other sporting programs.”

    Mr Dickson said the walking program was funded by the Heart Foundation itself in every other state, with minimal government assistance provided.

    “We would really like to renew the arrangement, but Labor’s total disregard for good financial management and sustainable budgeting means there is no funding source available at this time.”

    Mr Dickson said Labor made no attempt to provide future certainty for the Heart Foundation. Instead, departmental records show former Minister Phil Reeves signed off on just six months extra funding, three days before the caretaker period began prior to the election.

    “I fully expect the Labor party to come out and shed crocodile tears in an ongoing and deliberately misleading effort to hide its own failure,’ he said.

    “Day by day, week by week I am uncovering more evidence that Labor’s only plans were to win the election – not to secure the long-term future of our state.

    “In contrast, the Newman Government is intent on repairing the state’s finances and delivering frontline services, including in the area of sport and recreation.

    “Research commissioned by the former Labor Government shows that at a cost of $700,000 over three years the walking program only reached 5000 participants per year.

    “While not discounting its contribution, other organisations which receive similar or less funding report participation levels in the many tens of thousands.”

    “Our fully-funded Get in the Game initiative will have that broad reach, providing:

    • More than 40,000 grants of up to $150 for disadvantaged children to take part in organised sport
    • 200 grants of up to $10,000 for sporting clubs to purchase equipment and attract new members
    • 80 grants of up to $100,000 to be provided directly to clubs to upgrade sporting infrastructure

    [ENDS] 9 August 2012
    Media Contact: Anna Hilton 0408 191 192