Female athletes across Australia will be the major beneficiaries of a new $70 million sports package from the Morrison Government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the package would secure the future of Australian netball, establish a permanent home and high performance centre for the Matildas in Melbourne, add support for South East Queensland’s bid for the 2032 Olympic Games and improve nationwide facilities for aspiring Olympians and Paralympians.

The Prime Minister said the further investment in sport was on top of his Government’s previous commitment to upgrade hundreds of change rooms across the country.

“We know that participating in sport and physical activity improves the health and well-being of millions of Australians,” the Prime Minister said.

“But sport also brings communities together and when our athletes are on the world stage it brings our nation together.

“This is about backing netball as a sport that brings young women in and keeps them engaged and active, often for decades. Our support for the first ever International Netball Hub highlights what can be done with our plan for a stronger economy and it recognises Melbourne’s reputation as a sporting city.

“More and more women are playing sport and my Government has made a deliberate investment to provide better and more equitable facilities at our playing fields. We need to make sure women are supported from entry level as young girls all the way through to elite level competition, including in once male dominated sports.

“The Matildas’ new home in Melbourne shows we’re getting behind one of Australia’s fastest growing and most popular women’s sports. Melbourne is one of the world’s great sporting cities and our support for the Matildas’ new home shows Victoria is kicking goals.

“An Olympics has the potential to be a game-changer for South East Queensland and our government will be there every step of the way. A Queensland Olympics wouldn’t just take Australian sport to a new level, it’d mean showing off the Sunshine State to the world and an economic and jobs boom.

“We are the party best able to deliver a stronger economy which is the only way to deliver the investment in sport to support ever higher levels of participation and success.”

Under the new $70 million package, the Morrison Government would deliver:

  • $30 million to boost the number of young athletes playing netball, as well as providing the first ever International Netball Hub in Melbourne;
  • $15 million to establish a home for the Matildas in Melbourne;
  • Up to $10 million as an Australian Government contribution to support South East Queensland’s bid for the 2032 Olympic Games;
  • $11.5 million to support infrastructure upgrades at high-performance facilities across Australia to benefit our Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls;
  • $2 million to establish a Regional Events Fund which will support the staging of new elite-level sporting events in regional Australia; and
  • $1.5 million to improve our capability in finding our best para-athletes to compete on the world stage.

Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie said the investment in netball, football, and our future Olympians and Paralympians was critical to Australia’s sporting future.

She said the Morrison Government was already rolling out the first ever National Sports Plan, Sport 2030, which outlines a vision for Australia to be the most active and healthy sporting nation known for its integrity and sporting success.

“The success of our Diamonds, Matildas and other national female athletes has encouraged a tsunami of young girls across the country to get more active,” Minister McKenzie said.

“We want to support these women in sport, from the grassroots level up to elite representatives – you can’t be what you can’t see.

“Women often don't have access to appropriate change room facilities resulting in them having to get changed behind towels on the side of fields or in cars, and having to go home for showers.

“This is a major deterrent for women wanting to participate and to feel like they are welcome in clubs across many sports.

“That’s why in the past 12 months we have provided funding for more than 650 projects across the country including new change rooms, netball courts, upgraded playing fields and flood lighting.

“Regardless of whether you’re playing at the highest level or a grassroots level, we want all Australians to have the opportunity to be engaged in sport and physical activity.

“Our Government is committed to reducing physical inactivity among Australians by 15 per cent by 2030 – and we are determined to bring the health, social, cultural and inclusion benefits of sport and physical activity to all Australians."

The additional $70 million investment builds on more than $2.5 billion which the Morrison Government has delivered for sport since being elected 2013.