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March 01, 2018

Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast, Gareth Ward MP, has been accused of spruiking funding programs that give false hope to local sporting groups in the “Illawarra” because if they are based in Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas – they simply are not eligible to even submit an application.


Mr Ward issued a self-congratulatory press release earlier today spruiking the opening of Round Two of the Stronger Country Communities Fund, which he claimed was, “great news for the Illawarra and South Coast.”


However, Mr Ward failed to mention that any sporting group located in the Wollongong or Shellharbour local government areas have been deemed ineligible to submit an application by the NSW Government.


The Stronger Country Communities Fund is one of 5 funding programs which excludes the Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas from even bidding for funds.


The Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas are only eligible to apply for one funding program – Resources for Regions.


Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:


“I don’t begrudge any local sporting group having an opportunity to apply for funding programs.


“But it is surely misleading and spreading false hope to spruik funding programs, which local sporting groups in most of the Illawarra are simply not eligible to even apply for.


“The funding program spruiked by Gareth Ward today may be great news for Kiama local sporting groups, but those based in Wollongong simply miss out.


“He should have been upfront with ineligible groups in the Illawarra and not raise hopes, which upon the most casual reading of eligibility, will be dashed.”