Australian Golf Industry Council chairman Gavin Kirkman has called on all MPs and candidates to get behind golf during the Federal election campaign to support the great places and people in the sport.
The AGIC has made the call as part of its Pitch In: Grow Community Golf advocacy campaign – a new endeavour by the golf sector designed to improve the capability and sustainability of golf clubs and facilities around the nation, making the game easier for more Australians to access, learn and play.
“Golf is gearing up to ensure that our elected representatives are doing their bit to support the game and its facilities at the local level,” Kirkman said.
“Golf facilities are more than just places for playing golf. They are community hubs that include a place for weddings, birthdays, funerals and charitable events – they are a place for everybody to use and enjoy.
“The people who benefit from investing in the facilities extend well and truly beyond those just using the golf course. They are great places for all Australians to use in so many ways.
“But they need help. They need our elected representatives to Pitch In.”
The Pitch In: Grow Community Golf campaign highlights urgent and shovel-ready golf facility infrastructure projects around Australia that require funding to improve and upgrade ageing and damaged golf infrastructure in both metropolitan and regional Australia.
MPs and candidates in marginal seats have been contacted directly, highlighting projects that need immediate assistance in their electorates.
The following projects are some examples of those identified under Pitch In:
|Facility||Electorate||Project Overview||Investment Ask|
|Townsville Golf Club, QLD||Herbert||Upgrade to female change facilities and assist with recovery to the clubhouse and course following monsoonal rains in January||$440,000|
|Echunga Golf Club, SA||Mayo||Upgrade to facilities to improve the amenity of the clubhouse to enhance broader community use and encourage greater female and children participation in the game||$58,000|
|Queenscliff Golf Club, Vic||Corangamite||Installation of an automatic watering system that will bring environmental benefits through more efficient water use||$96,000|
|Gosford Golf Club, NSW||Robertson||Installation of updated air-conditioning units throughout the clubhouse to keep up with club growth and encourage further community use||$50,000|
“Our golf courses are not just sporting facilities, they truly are social hubs and useful event spaces,” Kirkman said.
“By drawing attention to these facilities, we aim to develop partnerships with local representatives so we can work together to support this great game and its facilities at the local level.”
There are 1497 golf courses in Australia and 70% of them are in regional areas. According to the latest AGIC research conducted by Golf Australia, an increasing number of golf clubs in Australia are operating under financial distress and many courses remain open only because of the hard work done by committed volunteers.
“Community golf projects such as the ones at Townsville, Echunga, Queenscliff and Gosford are great places for Australians to use in so many ways,” Kirkman said.
“But they need help and that’s why we are calling on all sides of politics to Pitch In and help make our community golf clubs great again.”