A petition for the federal government to pay for grants originally approved in a controversial sports grants scheme has got the backing of a Ballarat bowling club.
Alan Dennis is the president and secretary of the Victoria Bowling Club, which was one of eight local sporting clubs to have applications for the community sports infrastructure program knocked back.
The scheme, now widely dubbed the "sports rort", has faced intense scrutiny, which ultimately led to the resignation of the then sports minister Bridget McKenzie.
Mr Dennis told The Courier: "The biggest thing that concerned me was I was in contact with Senator McKenzie's office and I was told at the time that if we were unsuccessful, we would be told why our application was unsuccessful and where we needed to improve on it for future rounds that may come up."
"None of that ever happened."
Mr Dennis said that, despite following up on the application numerous times, "nothing was forthcoming". There was "no correspondence on what we needed to do to improve."
The application for $70,000 was to allow the club to instal decking, as well as lights and solar panels to allow for night matches on the club's new synthetic pitch. While the club has been able to instal the decking since, it has been unable to fund the lights and the solar panels.
He described the petition as an "excellent idea", saying he hoped it would give some understanding on why they missed out.
There were 242 signatures at the time of writing.
It has not been publicly declared which clubs were originally approved by Sports Australia for a successful grant. The funding decisions were subject to approval of the then Sports Minister.
Some of the clubs that were knocked back later bounced back. For example, plans for "Hot Shots" courts for the Ballarat Regional Tennis Centre, and lighting for the Ballarat Soccer and Sports Club, have since been funded at a state level.
A pitch for solar panels from Ballan Golf Club, and an application from the Celtic Tigers basketball team were among the rejected applications..
At the Daylesford Tennis Club, they were hoping for enough funds to install all-weather courts.
While they would relish the opportunity to gain some of the funds they applied, club secretary David Tindal was sanguine about the rejection, saying it was a common occurrence. "It's disappointing, but we'll keep on trying," he said.
They have still not been able to carry out their plans, but are looking to sell off some surplus land to allow the project to happen.
Another tennis club in regional Victoria, Beechworth Lawn Tennis Club, has taken the matter to the federal court.
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The one successful local funding application was for a $500,000 grant for Russell Square changing rooms, a sum that was matched by the council.
The sports infrastructure grant program has been the subject of a select committee inquiry.
It tabled a series of recommendations, including that Sport Australia improve communication and fund all projects that were recommended by the sports administration body then rejected at ministerial level.
The Courier contacted Senator McKenzie's office for comment.
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