Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the Bligh Government would deliver a new package of sport and recreation funding programs worth more than $138 million to create jobs, help build infrastructure and deliver initiatives to encourage Queenslanders to take part in sport and recreation activities.

Mr Pitt said local sport and recreation organisations would benefit from the funding.

“Four new programs will fund sporting clubs and recreation organisations, councils and schools to help them increase participation, recruit volunteers, and encourage disadvantaged communities to participate in sport,” Mr Pitt said.

“Community groups will also be eligible for some funding programs.

“The Bligh Government is committed to providing opportunities for as many people as possible to get active to help make Queenslanders Australia’s healthiest people.

“I’d encourage all sport and recreation groups, schools and councils in the Far North to look into these programs and consider applying for funding for their local projects.”

The new programs, providing funding over a three year period include: the $38 million Local Sport and Recreation Jobs plan; the $51.5 million Sport and Recreation Infrastructure program; the $27.6 million State Sport and Recreation Organisation Development Program; and $18 million Active Inclusion Program.

Mr Pitt said a workshop, to be attended by Sports Minister Phil Reeves, will be held in the Far North on 1 March to explain the new programs to sport and recreation stakeholders, outline key dates, project eligibility and to help them to apply for appropriate funding.

“This is an opportunity for groups’ representatives to ask any questions they may have and to provide feedback directly to the Minister.

“A second workshop will also be held in Innisfail on 8 March to provide an alternative opportunity for residents of the Cassowary Coast unable to make it along to the Smithfield discussion.”

Mr Pitt said he would take the opportunity during the Minister’s visit to bring into focus the pressure that growth and development in the southern corridor of Cairns is having on sport and recreation.

“A growing population requires adequate sporting facilities and coping with demand is a challenge,” Mr Pitt said.

“I am committed to working with all stakeholders, in particular Cairns Regional Council, to highlight the need for increased sport and recreational facilities.

“Preventative health is by far the best way to take pressure off our health system. An investment in sport and recreation is an investment in the future.”

Minister for Sport Phil Reeves said the new-look programs were the result of a review carried out in late 2009 to ensure sport and recreation funding effectively meets the needs of local Queensland communities.

“The Bligh Government provides more funding to sport and recreation than any other state and the new programs will boost the opportunities for Queenslanders from all walks of life to be involved in sport and recreation activities.

“The new programs mean the amount of funding sporting clubs will have access to for minor capital works has more than doubled and more organisations can apply for funding than ever before.

“The funding will also help deliver jobs for Queenslanders through the employment of local sport and recreation coordinators and infrastructure development.

“There will also be a $3 million allocated to industry development.”

Mr Reeves said the funding programs were due to be released between March and April 2010.

“The new programs will also help the Bligh Government’s Toward Q2: Tomorrow’s Queensland aim of cutting obesity by one third by 2020,” he said.

The new programs will be in addition to the existing Young Athletes Assistance Program and the Disaster Assistance Program that will continue to be available.

For more information about the changes to sport and recreation funding, call 1300 656 191 or visit

Further information about funding programs

  • $38 million Local Sport and Recreation Jobs plan: this plan will contribute to employment costs of a Local Sport and Recreation coordinator who will help organisations with matters such as fundraising, promotional activities and sponsorships at the grassroots level.
  • $51.5 million Sport and Recreation Infrastructure program: funding will be provided for capital works infrastructure to encourage participation in sport and recreation. This funding will go towards the cost of facilities such as playing fields, lighting for ovals or tennis courts.
  • $27.6 million State Sport and Recreation Organisation Development Program: state level sport and recreation bodies will be eligible to apply for funding to help encourage participation in sport and recreation across Queensland and at the local level.
  • $18 million Active Inclusion Program: this funding will be available for local organisations to encourage disadvantaged groups to participate in sport and recreation. This may include funding to establish local sporting competitions, or to help provide more equitable access for people with a disability to participate in sport and recreation.

Workshop dates for Far North Queensland

  • Monday 1 March 2010, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Cairns Western Arterial Road, Caravonica, 7.00pm – 8.30pm.
  •  Monday 8 March 2010, Innisfail Conservatorium of Music, River Drive, Innisfail, 2.00pm – 3.00pm.