Sensible allocation of funds or comical extravagance?
If you were a president, prime minister, how would you allocate your country’s precious dollars?
Would you, like the president of Equatorial Guinea, Teddy Mbasogo, buy houses in Malibu and Michael Jackson memorabilia? Or would you splash out on a 130 mill crib in the middle of Paris like Gabon’s dashing prez, Ali Bongo? All while your people die in the streets and so forth.
The Australian government, a slightly conservative one at the moment if you were wondering, has always been prone to throwing cash at sport.
It’s a little country and the people, who have the mental agility of a giant prawn for the most, become terrifyingly elevated by Olympic gold medals.
Therefore, today’s announcement that the NSW state and federal governments had puked six million dollars at the High Performance Surf Centre at Casuarina, just across the border from Coolangatta, raised zero eyebrows.
Let’s go the newspaper of note, the Gold Coast Bulletin, for the story:
SEVEN-TIME world surfing champion Layne Beachley is confident Surfing Australia’s multimillion-dollar High Performance Centre expansion can create a gold rush for the 2020 Olympics and beyond.
The surfing Australia chairperson was on hand with World Tour professional Bede Durbidge, up-and-coming Tweed superstar Zahli Kelly and dignitaries at the Casuarina based centre on Tuesday to turn the first sod of soil on the $6 million upgrade.
With surfing set to make its Olympics debut in 2020, Beachley said the major expansion would set Australia up for sustained success in Tokyo and beyond.
“It (expansion) signals the turning of the tide for this organisation. We’re going to go to a benchmark facility we anticipate is going to bring home a whole host of gold medals in the future,” she said.
“We are confident that we will be ensuring athletes are provided with the opportunities for success.”
Works on the project – generated by $2.536 million in funding through the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, and $3 million from the NSW Government – begin on Wednesday and are expected to be completed in July, 2018.
New facilities will include underground parking for 18 vehicles, a bigger and better AIS Aerial Surf Skate Training Facility, an improved and expanded world class gymnasium, 100 seat auditoriums, expanded treatment facilities, and 11 new accommodation rooms.
I have mixed thoughts about flashy government spending.
One, the money’s going to be pissed up against a wall anyway so why not have a good time? Six mill is peanuts when your budget is 500 billion a year.
Conversely, I also believe that each dollar is as precious as gold and must only be spent on those things that really matter, health, education, defence and so on.
Oh I’m lost!
Therefore, I seek your counsel:
Do you think six million dollars spent on the off chance an Australian might win a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in the category of surf is a sensible allocation of government funds?
Or comical in its pointless extravagance?