Calls for commitment to women's sports, climate action and housing

INVESTMENT CALL: Female players from the Balmain Football Club and Hurlstone Park Football Club face off. Picture: Supplied

INVESTMENT CALL: Female players from the Balmain Football Club and Hurlstone Park Football Club face off. Picture: Supplied

Funding for women's sports, solar panels on schools and housing affordability were all on the wishlist when we asked local community representatives how they would like to see the next federal government better serve the inner west.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said community sports clubs and facilities were one area he would like to see more federal spending invested.

"Our sporting fields are under more pressure than ever before - they're being used very intensively and the recent heavy rains have damaged a lot of our grounds," he said.

Ian Holmes, CEO of Canterbury & District Soccer Football Association, agreed. He said his association wants to see more investment in community sports infrastructure, especially for women and girls.

"The 'equaliser' campaign which was recently launched by Football Australia highlights the desperate need for infrastructure and investment in female-friendly facilities," he said.

"Only 35 per cent of football facilities across Australia are currently female-friendly and this needs to change."

Only 35 per cent of football facilities across Australia are currently female-friendly and this needs to change

Ian Holmes

On the wishlist for the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville is policy which improves conditions for those working within the aged-care and disability sector, support for initiatives which tackle homelessness and food insecurity, funding for community centres, and affordable social housing and crisis accommodation.

Affordable housing, specialised homelessness services and an increase to Commonwealth Rental Assistance are also on the agenda for Shelter NSW.

"There are close to 1500 people in the inner west waiting over 10 years for social housing," said senior policy officer Cathy Callaghan. "Only a large and coordinated investment by the federal and state governments to build or acquire social housing can address that."

Solar and batteries in schools will save schools money in power bills to put towards more teachers and educational resources

Anna Harvey

Anna Harvey, a member of Inner West Parents for Climate Action, said her group wants to see both Liberal and Labor commit to installing solar panels and batteries on local schools. In Grayndler, candidates for the Greens, Animal Justice Party and independent Sarina Kilham have signed the group's 'Solar Our Schools' pledge.

"Energy bills are rising. Solar and batteries in schools will save schools money in power bills to put towards more teachers and educational resources," said Ms Harvey.

Jack Whitney, co-convenor of the inner west-based Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, said debate around the coalition's religious freedom bill has put protection from discrimination at the top of his wish list.

"Access to healthcare is also a significant barrier for many in the community locally," he said.

"The NSW Government has just announced the first LGBTQIA+ Health Centre in NSW but federal funding is lacking."

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