Junior footy club goes to war with federal MP
A WAR of words has erupted between a bayside junior sporting club and its local federal member over a lack of financial support for the club's recent $2 million upgrade.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls Junior Rugby League is celebrating record membership numbers and a successful season on the field, but the club is crying foul after being overlooked for a federal grant to put towards renovations of Kitchener Park.
They completed works without any funding contributions from the Federal Government, instead raising the money themselves through sponsorship and fundraising as well as minor contributions from the state and local governments.
Former club president Adam Lipke said he could not understand why they had not received any support from the Federal Government over the years.
Mr Lipke, who was the Wynnum Manly Junior Rugby League president for six years and is now in a football managing role, said they had constantly sought support from the local federal member to no avail.
"We've done all the work on the club ourselves through the incredible efforts of our volunteers and through our great sponsors but we've no help from the Federal Government at all," he said.
"If we could get some support from them, it would only help take us to a new level and give us an even brighter future.
"Now we need help to upgrade our lighting with new poles and changing our system to LED's, which would cut our annual power bill in half but we also received a no from Federal on that.
"We've seen a whole heap of other sporting clubs in the area receive funding but for some reason we haven't been able to get any at all."
The club's venue at Kitchener Park is also the home of several other groups including Bayside Ravens Gridiron, Wynnum Manly TRL and OzTag.
The club has received more than $100,000 funding support from the Brisbane City Council and State Government since 2015 to help with maintenance of the fields and upgrades to facilities.
The Liberal Party's federal member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, said Wynnum Manly Juniors had not applied for a Federal grant until the most recent round of the Stronger Communities Program.
"The Stronger Communities Program applications are deliberated on by an independent community panel and in this case, other organisations were chosen," he said.
"WMJRLC made a funding request three weeks out from the 2019 Federal election without any formal submission and unfortunately it was too late to seek a funding request.
"If and when a grant opportunity becomes available I will be more than happy to assist the club in the application process."
But Mr Lipke refuted Mr Vasta's claims arguing the club had applied for multiple grants in the past and had completed formal submissions for funding.
"The club is a big part of the community and if we could get some help, it would be a big boost."