Campbelltown snubbed in second round of state government 'sports rorts'

Lynwood Park is home to many of the region's soccer teams. Picture: John Humphries Photography
Lynwood Park is home to many of the region's soccer teams. Picture: John Humphries Photography

Campbelltown has missed out on funding under the NSW Government's Greater Sydney Sports Facility Fund for the second year running.

Two thirds of the fund's $40 million was distributed to councils located in Liberal electorates.

Campbelltown Council, which is located in a safe Labor seat, applied for $5 million towards its Lynwood Park masterplan and was knocked back for the second consecutive time.

Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic said he was unimpressed by the decision to knock back the council's application.

"Council's grant application for works to develop a regional football hub at Lynwood Park was rejected at the Expressions of Interest (EOI) phase," Cr Brticevic said.

"The project would provide state-of-the-art football facilities for the Macarthur region where there are a significant number of registered junior players, including a growing number of female players who need appropriate facilities."

Neighbouring councils in Wollondilly and Camden, which are safe Liberal seats, received funding under the current and previous round of grants.

In 2019 Camden Council received $5 million for the Narellan Sports Hub while Wollondilly Council secured a $2.2 million grant for the Wilton Reserve Recreation Master Plan.

This year Camden Council will receive a further $2.7 million towards the Kirkham Park Sports Precinct.

Campbelltown MP and opposition spokesman for western Sydney Greg Warren said the NSW Liberals were using the fund to buy votes, not support communities.

"The Liberals treatment of western Sydney and south west Sydney can only be described as appalling," Mr Warren said.

"Rather the use the money to enhance sporting facilities throughout the greater Sydney region, the NSW Liberals have used it as some sort of slush fund.

"It's disgraceful."

A spokesman for the acting minister for sport Geoff Lee said Labor seats did receive grants under the fund.

"Labor party electorates account for 36 per cent of applications received in round 2 of the Greater Sydney Sports Facilities Fund and they received 33 per cent of funding," he said.

"Two of the projects that received the maximum $5 million allocation were located in Labor electorates."

Blacktown Council, which is located in a Labor seat, received $5 million towards its Home of Disability Sport and Inclusion at Kevin Betts Stadium in Mount Druitt.

A spokesman for the Office of Sport said expressions of Interest (EOI) lodged for Greater Sydney Sports Facility Fund were assessed by a Grant Assessment Panel against the fund's objectives and assessment criteria.

He said the panel also considered the spread of projects by greater Sydney districts.

"The process is overseen by an Independent Probity Officer," he said.

"Campbelltown Council lodged one EOI in round one and two EOIs in round two.

"The applications didn't meet the Grant Assessment Panel's criteria for progression.

"Almost $10 million from the Greater Sydney Sports Facility Fund's first two rounds are providing Macarthur residents with new and upgraded facilities to participate in sport and recreation."

However Labor politicians claim south-west and western Sydney councils in Labor electorates were shunned.

The opposition spokeswoman for sport Lynda Voltz said it was time Sydney's south west got a fair share.

"This is simply another year, another sports rort from the Berejiklian Government," Ms Voltz said.

"The Liberals continue to ignore the growth areas of south-west Sydney like Campbelltown and Liverpool in favour of their safe seats on the North Shore.

"Residents in Sydney's south west deserve a slice of this funding for sporting facilities."