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Daniel Andrews bills grassroots sports for AFL deal

State Liberal Member for Eildon has condemned Daniel Andrews for handing local community sports groups a raw deal, whilst doling out harbour-side land in the heart of Melbourne to the AFL for free.

In a parliamentary inquiry this week, Treasurer Tim Pallas admitted he had no idea of the value of the land recently gifted by the Andrews Labor Government to the AFL to develop a new headquarters at Docklands.

The Treasurer also confirmed to the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee there was no effort to analyse if the deal would benefit taxpayers.

“Daniel Andrews is prepared to gift the AFL prime land worth – apparently – millions of dollars, while our grassroots sports clubs are left with the scraps,” Ms McLeish said.

The $225 million for the AFL could, based on current State Government grant guidelines, cover grants for – 2,250 country football and netball clubs, 75 aquatic centres or 900 small swimming pool upgrades.

It was also revealed at PAEC that grassroots clubs will be forced to pay three per cent interest on loans to upgrade local facilities.

“It beggars belief that Daniel Andrews is giving a free kick to the AFL while slapping our community sports clubs with interest-bearing loans to upgrade their facilities,” Ms McLeish said.

“Anyone involved in sport at the grassroots level could point to a club rooms that needs replacing, a stadium that needs a new roof or a playing field that needs work.”

“The Liberals will back grassroots sport. We’ll divert any funds from the Etihad Stadium deal that we can into grassroots sports.”

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