Shaun Ringuet and Wide Bay cricket groups benefited from $432,000 in state funding over the past three years, making it the third-most funded sport across the region.
Shaun Ringuet and Wide Bay cricket groups benefited from $432,000 in state funding over the past three years, making it the third-most funded sport across the region.

REVEALED: Gympie sports winners, losers in fight for cash

A LEAN three years in sports funding for the region has not been without winners, as rugby league and soccer clubs took home the biggest slices of the pie.

From July 1, 2017, to February 29, 2020, the Wide Bay received the fourth-lowest grants per person in Queensland, a new report from the Queensland Audit Office has revealed.

The Wide Bay received $5.5m in total sports grant funding, squarely in the middle of the pack.

However the region only averaged $19 in grants per person, the fourth-lowest of all 21 regions in the report.

Wide Bay’s netball groups snagged only $134,000, well below the $554,000 average granted to the sport across other regions. Photo: Bec Singh
Wide Bay’s netball groups snagged only $134,000, well below the $554,000 average granted to the sport across other regions. Photo: Bec Singh

Only Moreton Bay North ($11), Moreton Bay South ($13), and the Gold Coast ($13) received less funding per person.

These were outstripped by areas like the Outback (South), where $138 was granted per person, Far North Queensland ($116), and Logan ($87).

Rugby league took home the biggest slice of the pie with $651,000, while soccer snagged $630,000.

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Cricket rounded out the podium with $432,000 in funding.

At the other end of the scale, netball only snagged $134,000 in state sports funding, well below the $554,000 average granted to netball in nearby regions.

Basketball netted only $47,000 in three years.
Basketball netted only $47,000 in three years.

Wide Bay basketball netted even less at $47,500, and rugby union took home a modest $83,400.

Aussie rules groups in the Wide Bay were awarded $145,000 in the past three years, while golf scored a cool $162,000.

Of the Wide Bay's $5.5m funding total, $4.2m was spread across 313 competitive grants and $765,000 was awarded as the result of three election promises.

The audit was done in the wake of the Federal Government's sports rorts scandal early after an Australian National Order Office report found a significant number of sports grants were awarded despite not being recommended by Sport Australia.

The scandal cost Senator Bridget McKenzie her job as deputy leader of the National Party as well as her ministerial portfolio.

The QAO's report raised question's about pork-barrelling after it found State Sports Minister Mick de Brenni intervened and overruled his department's recommendations on 33 occasions.

Two of these were in his own electorate.

This swung the proportion of grants awarded in Labor-held electorates from 44 per cent to 68 per cent.

LNP-held electorates had their share cut from 43 per cent to 28 per cent.

Mr de Brenni defended these changes as necessary due to errors.