SATURDAY’S funding announcement of $3 million for Litis Stadium was also something of a balls-up for the federal government.
with last week’s leadership crisis resulting in no representative being on hand for the big announcement, despite the potential electoral fillip.
Former finance minister and WA senator Matthias Cormann had signed off on the funding grant, but by Saturday’s announcement he’d already resigned his position when his faction was out-manoeuvred in the battle over the prime ministership.
With no one to replace him, the announcement was left to One Nation’s WA senator Peter Georgiou who’s staff gleefully decorated Floreat Athena’s stage with big party banners and even compered the event.
“[The grant] will go a long way in securing tenure and redevelopment for what has been the home to this club for many decades,” Sen Georgiou staffer Peter Kapsanis told the crowd.
Sen Georgiou said after being approached by Floreat Athena members concerned about the dire state of the club’s building, he lobbied Sen Cormann for funding.
“I took my case to the minister, or should I say former minister, who’s also by the way a big soccer fan, coming from Belgium, and after months and months of lobbying, knocking on his door, ringing him up, and talking to him about this, I’m very happy to announce today at the Floreat Athena Soccer Club that on behalf of myself and One Nation we have secured $3m.”
This week Mr Georgiou criticised Vincent council for being cold about the announcement: “Is the council wanting to jeopardise where the next Tim Cahill or the next Samantha Kerr comes from?” he said.
“This is not about politics, this is about engaging with the local community.”