The 2023-24 State Budget announced an additional $15 million for the Community Sport and Recreation Facilities Fund, which will be spent over 2023-24 and 2024-25. This will bring the total committed under the Fund to $20 million in each of these years.
This money, which is matched by Local Governments and community sporting groups, will be used to upgrade much-needed sport and recreation facilities across the State.
WALGA has been advocating for several years for funding to the CSRFF to be increased, and recently called on the State Government to increase the Fund to $25 million annually in its State Government Budget Submission.
The Fund had been cut from $20 million per year in 2016-17 to $12.5 million in 2022-23, limiting the capacity of Local Governments and community sporting groups to invest in infrastructure to meet sport and recreation needs across the state.
Returning the fund to 2016-17 levels is a welcome step, however, to continue to enable Local Governments meet the recreational demands of their communities, it is important this fund increases into the future.
The provision of high quality, well-designed sport and recreation facilities encourages increased physical activity, fosters social inclusion and connects communities, and ultimately reduces significant costs imposed on the health system.
It also generates significant economic activity. A State Government report, More than Winning, estimates that for every dollar invested by the State Government through the Fund, $2.36 is generated in direct economic activity and $6.51 in total economic activity.
WALGA will continue to advocate on behalf of Local Governments for increased funding commitments to the CSRFF in future Budgets.