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  • Rikki Lambert

Victorian taxpayers bail out Netball Australia

The $15 million price tag for Hancock Prospecting's sponsorship deal, withdrawn by Gina Rinehart after protests from players over decades-old comments by founder Lang Hancock, is being picked up by Victorian taxpayers 27 days from the state election.

The deal includes locking in hosting rights for the 2023 Super Netball grand final, which has been up for grabs each season and was bought by Western Australia in 2022.

The 7-year partnership will also see five netball test matches and training camps locked in for Victoria and 'Visit Victoria' slogans emblazoned on player uniforms and other promotional material.

On Monday morning, leader of the opposition and Victorian Liberals, Matthew Guy questioned whether the announcement was timed to be snuck in just before caretaker conventions prevented the government committing the funding:

"A government commitment on taxpayer money - I'm quizzical as to whether or not (the announcement is) during an election as an election pledge a day before (the) caretaker (period). I'm quizzical as to whether the Labor party is trying to use government money in an election context, like they did for a Diwali dinner with the Indian community which was a political event for Labor party MPs and candidates at taxpayer expense.
"Whether or not the premier of Victoria is using taxpayer money for political benefit yet again, like this guy always does, I'll leave it to you to judge."


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