Media release

Labor tried to block Palmer donations to Townsville children

The Labor Government in Brisbane was playing politics with Townsville children’s needs, Clive Palmer said today.

“I was approached by Declan Carnes the general manager of North Queensland Football who advised me that the State Government and the Townsville City Council had refused to provide further financial support for Townsville soccer,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“I was told that $100,000 was desperately needed to pay, among other things, the amounts charged by the Townsville Council to allow Townsville children to play on the ovals controlled by council.

“Declan told me if the organisation did not get the money, over 3,000 Townsville families would have to pay and many of them just could not afford it.

“I decided to make a $100,000 donation. I was then told the deputy mayor of Townsville Les Walker, then a member of the executive of North Queensland Football, had  tried to block my donation at their executive  meeting,’’ Mr Palmer said.

Mr Palmer said the result was that Mr Walker then ceased to be a member of the executive and the executive wanted to proceed.

“It was then when Phil Reeves a former Labor sports minister and now an alleged consultant for Queensland soccer in Brisbane intervened.

“Apparently the message was delivered that if Queensland soccer allowed Townsville soccer to receive funding from me, the State Government would cut the funding to Queensland Soccer

“They or the State Government would not provide the $100,000. Townsville families could do that, but Labor was going ensure that I was not going to do it,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“The same thing has happened in other sports. I don’t know how low Labor can go. They need to wake up and stop damaging our community and the lives of the people living in Townsville and start telling the truth for a change.

“My companies have already provided over $25 million supporting soccer in Australia.

“From 2010 until 2016 my companies donated over $20 million to community organisations in Townsville. We provided sponsorship for Townsville Fury and sponsored Townsville Fire.

“Townsville sport is worth supporting and so is the Townsville community. I am not going to have any Labor political hack in Brisbane dictate to me how I can spend my money supporting our community.

“It’s an outrage we should throw the bums out,’’ Mr Palmer said.