Posted in Featured News , Female Football , Front Page News

The SMJFL congratulates The Hon. Minister Andrew Robb MP for his adjournment in the Federal Parliament last week, which supported the Grass Ceiling Campaign.

He used this as an opportunity to highlight the poor community sport infrastructure and lack of facilities across the country. He advocated strongly against the current “drip feed” funding, which if continues will mean another generation of girls will continue to accept 2nd best or simply miss out on sporting opportunities.

The Grass Ceiling Campaign is advocating the Victorian State Government and the Federal Government to include female sporting facilities upgrades on the COAG agendas.

A full transcript of Minister Robb’s adjournment speech can be found below.

SMJFL also commends The Leader newspaper group for advocating strongly and taking the lead on this campaign.




The Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP

Federal Member for Goldstein


I rise today to offer my support to; and raise awareness of an important campaign in my electorate – the Grass ceiling campaign. The campaign has been the brainchild of the wonderfully proactive mayor of the Bayside City Council – Felicity Frederico. In Bayside – one of the two municipalities in my electorate of Goldstein – 80 per cent of the sporting infrastructure was constructed pre 1960s, in an era when female sport received very little attention. As a result, 96 per cent of the pavilions within Bayside do not have adequate female change facilities. There is a major imbalance between supply and demand for sporting activities – the Bayside municipality has 44 ovals, yet only seven netball courts. This leads to over 200 netballers having a forced bye every weekend.

What message does this send young girls who aspire to play sport? Not only does it mean that a large percentage of existing netballers cannot play weekly, but it also means that there is no scope for growth in female participation. While this is a major issue in my electorate, I am also aware that the situation is also replicated throughout our nation.

This has to change. The playing field must be levelled. If this issue is left to conventional drip-feed funding, a whole generation of females will miss out on local sporting opportunities, as it would take at least fifteen years for a transformation to occur.

We know how important it is for children and teenagers to be active. Communities are responding to calls to increase youth participation in sport. It is now up to governments to act on this too, by ensuring we have the facilities to meet the demand for quality sporting fields for everyone – irrespective of gender.

I am pleased to read that the Victorian Minister for Sport, John Eren, the Victorian Shadow Minister for Sport, Damian Drum, and the Victorian Shadow Minister for Women, Georgie Crozier, have all agreed that this issue is important, and they have requested the reinstatement of the Meeting of Sport and Recreation Ministers as a COAG Ministerial Council, and for this issue to take precedence. As the Federal Member for Goldstein, I agree with this call; and would also like to see this issue added to the COAG Health Council as a health initiative. This issue transcends party lines, as well as levels of government. It requires bipartisanship and discussion between all three levels of government. It has my full support, and I will continue to pursue this matter with my parliamentary colleagues at a federal level.

Lastly, I would like to congratulate Mayor Frederico for raising awareness on this inequity which exists today. I would also like to thank Leader newspaper, and their parent company, News Corp, in their campaigning for action on this issue. With the support of three levels of government, I am confident we can see positive action.

Thursday 22nds October 2015


To view the video of Mr Robb’s parliamentary speech CLICK HERE.