Labor Government fails on $50 school sports voucher

The State Labor Government has admitted its $50 school sports voucher election promise will only go to less than a quarter of the 213,000 primary school aged children in South Australia.

The State Labor Government has admitted its $50 school sports voucher election promise will only go to less than a quarter of the 213,000 primary school aged children in South Australia.
 
Yesterday in Parliament’s Estimates Committee, Recreation and Sport Minister Leon Bignell said:

    “The figure is not based on the number of kids who are participating in sport, it is based on the number who will take up the offer. We know that some families will not worry with filling in the forms and doing it, so this is our estimate of how many people will take it up.”

 “Minister Bignell is out of touch with ordinary South Australian families if he believes 75 per cent of them couldn’t be bothered filling in forms to receive a $50 voucher,” said Shadow Minister for Recreation and Sport Tim Whetstone.
 
“The fact is the Weatherill Labor Government has only budgeted for around a 25 per cent uptake of this voucher.
 
“I’ve no doubt that tens of thousands of South Australia families who would welcome the $50 voucher for their children will miss out.”
 
In Estimates today it was also revealed the Office for Recreation and Sport was not involved in the modelling phase of the policy, despite putting forward a recommendation two years ago.
 
When asked whether the Minister sought advice from the Office for Recreation and Sport regarding the voucher policy, Minister Bignell said:

    “We were in caretaker mode, so no…we have had papers put up before by the Office for Recreation and Sport, so we had no idea of what was involved”

Mr Whetstone said it beggars belief that the Weatherill Labor Government failed to consult its own department regarding the voucher policy.
 
“The Office for Recreation and Sport will deliver this program despite not having any input into the final model and with just a part time staff member to administer it,” said Mr Whetstone.
 
“This $50 voucher scheme is a cruel hoax for many parents of primary school aged children who believe they will receive a contribution towards the cost of their children’s sporting activities.”

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