HomeNewsAustraliaSteve Dimopoulos MP defends scale of financial support given to Tennis Australia

Steve Dimopoulos MP defends scale of financial support given to Tennis Australia

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The Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Mr Steve Dimopoulos is facing scrutiny and having to defend the substantial financial support provided to Tennis Australia, which annually hosts the Australian Open.

This comes after recently discovered Freedom of Information (FOI) documents revealed that Victorian taxpayers contributed to more than $100 million to support Tennis Australia.

ABC News reported that in late 2022, Treasurer Tim Pallas approved a $63 million contingency support payment towards the Australian Open.

This was additional to the $40 million loan that Tennis Australia was granted and did not have to repay as the Victorian government had decided to waive the debt due to the impact of COVID-19.

Steve Dimopoulos MP
The Minister for Sport and Major Events, Steve Dimopoulos. Photo: Oakleigh.

Minister for Tourism, Sport, and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos defended the financial assistance provided to Tennis Australia. 

He said a 10-year extension to Melbourne’s hosting rights was negotiated at the same time the bailout was granted, that would be worth $4 billion to the state of Victoria.

“This is an event that’s been on the calendar for decades and it largely runs with pretty modest support from the Victorian taxpayer for the economic benefits it brings,” Dimopoulos said.

Although the Victorian Premier, Jacinta Allan, has not addressed the issue of the waived COVID-19 loan, she highlighted the major contribution the Australian Open plays into Victoria’s economy.

She said that the Australian Open contributes $357 million each year and supports thousands of jobs.

Mr Dimopoulos also declined to explain why the COVID-19 loan was waived.

Source: ABC News.

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