Investigation starts after MP comments

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ALLEGATIONS against the Frankston & District Basketball Association by federal Dunkley Liberal MP Chris Crewther will be investigated by Victoria’s peak basketball body.

Basketball Victoria announced last week it has begun “an independent investigation into the allegations and has spoken to the FDBA who are supportive and welcoming of the investigation”.

Mr Crewther made several allegations of possible misconduct at the FDBA under parliamentary privilege during a grievance statement in Parliament on Tuesday 27 March (“MP fire shots at basketball board”, The Times 2/4/18).

“As the peak representative basketball body in Victoria, Basketball Victoria is focused on the protection of its playing and non-playing participants and to provide a safe workplace and sporting environment for all participants, volunteers and administrators,” Basketball Victoria said in a statement last week that communications coordinator Jarrod Potter indicated should be attributed to the organisation itself rather than any individual.

The FDBA board says it is “aggrieved and disappointed” at the federal MP’s comments.

It is understood that a QC may be hired to carry out the Basketball Victoria investigation. There is no timeframe for an outcome yet.

Mr Crewther’s comments in Canberra came the week after the Dunkley MP hosted a last-ditch meeting between FDBA and Frankston Council representatives to try to reach an agreement over lease terms for an upgraded stadium at Seaford’s Bardia Avenue.

Council and the association have been locked in a long-standing bitter dispute about the lease for the $12.7 million upgraded stadium which was to be paid for by $5.2 million in federal funding, $2.5 million of state government funding, $4 million from council and $1 million from the association itself.

The existing stadium was built by the FDBA and is situated on council-owned land.

Council is now looking at trying to divert the $5.2 million in federal funding to installing basketball courts at Jubilee Park, the base for the Frankston & District Netball Association.                 

First published in the Frankston Times – 9 April 2018

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