Sports Minister lashes Opposition on funding

first_imgJustin Tkatchenko, the Minister for Sports and National Events, has blasted the Opposition Leader  Don Polye for the “constant stream of negative nonsense’’ that has now seen the Opposition seek to abandon national rugby league players.Mr Polye yesterday called for a shift in funding priority for rugby to other sporting codes like soccer, swimming, rugby union among others, in which ‘our sports personnel excel’.“We cannot continue to waste taxpayers’ money in a sporting code which secures low ranking in the world index,” he said.Today, Mr Tkatchenko replied: “Don Polye is slapping every rugby league supporter in the face with his call to give up on our rugby league players.“This Government will not abandon rugby league, the O’Neill/Dion Government will strengthen rugby league in Papua New Guinea.“What absolute rubbish from Don Polye calling for funding to be taken away from supporting rugby league, when a lack of funding is why, from the Somare/Polye Government, is the reason why the sport suffered.“When we came to Government rugby league administration in our country was in a dismal state. We are rebuilding rugby league infrastructure in our country and we are investing in the junior leagues.“Our SP Hunters served the nation proud last season and our national team will continue to build on the last season.“While Polye questions if Papua New Guineans still love rugby league, I can assure you that it is. I know this because I talk to our people, particularly our grassroots people.”The Minister said the Opposition’s search for a news headline overlooked facts. “We are increasing investment in other sports including soccer, cricket, athletics, swimming and AFL and we are seeing results.“The people of our nation can easily compare the track records of the two governments. “Somare and Polye gave up on sport in Papua New Guinea, and the O’Neill Government is rebuilding sports in our country.“An example of this is the way Somare and Polye gave up on the Pacific Games, and our Government led by Peter O’Neill stepped up to the challenge and delivered the best Pacific Games in history.”last_img

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