Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been slammed for giving $15million of taxpayers’ money to Netball Australia after its previous sponsorship deal collapsed.
The peak sporting body was saved from financial wipeout by Mr Andrews’ intervention, after billionaire Gina Rinehart withdrew a $15million sponsorship through her company Hancock Prospecting.
Indigenous player Donnell Wallam expressed concerns about wearing the company logo on her uniform for her debut international against England. This was because in 1984 Ms Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock talked in an invterview about sterilising Aboriginal communities by ‘doping up’ their water supply.
Mr Andrews came under fire on Facebook almost immediately following Monday’s announcement – with many viewing the intervention cynically, coming ahead of the state election on Saturday, November 26.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is pictured addressing the media at a press conference in Melbourne on Monday, October 31, 2022. Visit Victoria will sponsor Netball Australia for the next four and a half years in a $15million deal
Mr Andrews described the deal as a coup for the state.
‘Obviously there was a sponsor. That sponsor was no more so there was a gap and Visit Victoria raced to fill it,’ he told reporters.
‘Other states wanted this but Victoria secured it.’
But a huge number of people don’t share the Premier’s view that it was worth the state’s money, with many rushing to comment about it online.
‘Andrews splashes out another $15m while it was only this morning on the news they mentioned the state of Victoria is deep debt …and yet this doesn’t surprise me at all,’ said one.
‘Great how they can just throw our money around like it’s theirs. So much better things to spend taxpayers dollars on then (sic) some ungrateful sportspeople,’ said another.
Netball Australia potentially faced financial ruin after Ms Rinehart’s pullout, but the Andrews government threw it a lifeline on Monday, announcing Visit Victoria will be the new sponsor.
Australia Diamonds player Donnell Wallam (pictured) expressed concerns about wearing the Hancock Prospecting logo on her uniform for her debut international against England
‘We really have to vote this wacko out. Afraid if he gets back in he will go straight to China for money…….which he already tried and scomo stopped him, Airbus albo will only support him, he’s just GOT TO GO,’ one said.
Another said ‘That is very gracious of Dan Andrew’s (sic). I guess nothing to do with election.’
A lot of commenters made reference to how the $15million would be better spent on health or helping people affected by flooding in Victoria.
‘Buy $15 mil worth of ambulances and you might get my vote, but net ball you can get STUFFED,’ said one.
Pictured are a selection of online comments slamming Victorian Premier Dan Andrews over the state’s $15million sponsorship of Netball Australia
‘Mr Andrews it might be trick or treat night, but stop giving the states money out like lollies. The health system is stuffed and our roads are a disgrace, but no basketball (sic) gets $ 15m,’ said another.
Not everyone posting a comment found fault though, with a few welcoming the sponsorship deal that will see the Diamonds wear Visit Victoria branding on their team kit.
One poster said she was a ‘bit confused by some people’s horror of spending in sport.
‘Is a state government only able to invest in hospital, roads, homelessness, flood relief?’
Gina Rinehart (pictured) withdrew her offer of a $15million sponsorship deal for Netball Australia after a racism furore over comments her father Lang Hancock made almost 40 years ago
Another echoed that, saying it was ‘a great investment by Visit Victoria, out of their ALLOCATED BUDGET to sponsor the best netball team in the world!
‘The tourism this will generate, from the Diamond’s matches being played in Victoria, will be worth it.’
Under the agreement, which runs until June 2027, next year’s Super Netball Grand Final will be played in Victoria.
The Diamonds will also play five Test matches in Victoria, as well as hold training camps there, between 2023 and 2026.