Former PUP Senator Kicks Goal for The Big Issue
17 March 2015 at 11:04 am
Newly independent Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus has helped secure a $2 million Federal Government funding commitment for The Big Issue’s national Community Street Soccer Program for the next two years.
Senator Lazarus, who resigned from the Palmer United Party last week, said he had actively campaigned the Government to ensure the continuation of the program and its contribution to better health outcomes for Australians.
Lazarus said in a statement on Friday “I have a different view of team work. Given this, I felt it best that I resign from the party and pursue my Senate role as an independent. I am deeply grateful to Clive Palmer for the opportunity to be involved in the party.”
Senator Lazarus was joined by Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley to announce that the sport-based program would continue.
“I am pleased that my persistent approaches to the Minister for Health have resulted in the allocation of funding to an important and much needed community sporting initiative,” Senator Lazarus said.
“Sport provides all people, including those most in need, with positive community engagement and a supportive social network.
“Participating in street soccer with the Big Issue gives people an opportunity to build confidence through sport to tackle other issues in their lives.
“I am pleased that the Government has listened and funding has been delivered to support this program and ensure that more members of the community can benefit from sport regardless of circumstance.”
Steven Persson, CEO of the Big Issue thanked the Government for its proactive investment in health through sport.
“The Federal Government has been a long standing partner of our Community Street Soccer Program, a Big Issue initiative that uses the power of sport to change lives. We are thrilled the Government is able to continue their support of homeless and disadvantaged Australians via Australia’s most successful ‘sport for change’ program,” Persson said.
“I would also like to thank Senator Lazarus who has shown incredible support for the Big Issue in championing the need for funding of our Community Street Soccer programme.”
Funding has been committed over two years from 2014-15 to 2015-16. The program currently operates in 18 locations across Australia.
The Community Street Soccer Programme is run by The Big Issue, an independent, Not for Profit social enterprise, which provides ways to assist Australians to participate in society as independently as possible and to make positive changes to their health and wellbeing.