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Grant cash would ‘transform’ tennis club

A volunteer-run tennis club that missed out on funding through the government’s controversial sports grants program has described how receiving money now would be transformational.

The North Shore Country Club and Residents’ Association applied for funds to build disabled toilets, female changing rooms and disabled access.

Despite scoring 83 out of 100 the WA-based club missed out on money through the $100 million program.

The club’s previous president Nick Cater says the project can’t happen without a grant.

Funding submissions that met the criteria but were rejected would be a sign of good faith from the government, he added.

“It would be transformational,” Mr Cater told a Senate inquiry into the program.

Greens senator Janet Rice has introduced draft legislation which would allow the Australian Sports Commission to fund applications that were submitted to the program and recommended to the minister for funding, but were not successful.

Mr Cater said it took more than 100 hours of work to put the application together, and he was disappointed at being knocked back.

“I thought the processes of government would be more robust than I think has been demonstrated here.”

Mr Cater said the club had not decided whether to join a recently launched class action against the program.

An auditor-general’s report criticised former sport minister Bridget McKenzie’s office for using the scheme to funnel money into marginal seats at the 2019 election.

The North Shore Country Club and Residents’ Association sits in the Moore electorate, which Liberal MP Ian Goodenough comfortably held onto at the election.

Nearly three-quarters of approved grants were not recommended by Sport Australia.

Senator McKenzie stepped down as sports minister after failing to declare potential conflicts of interest in relation to the scheme.

The auditor-general also raised questions over whether she was entitled to award the money.

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