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Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Page: 1925

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority

Mr HARTSUYKER (Cowper) (15:01): My question is to the Prime Minister. Given that the Executive Director of the Australian Crime Commission, Mr Paul Jevtovic, has confirmed that intelligence from the ACC's Organised crime and drugs in sport report is yet to result in a single active police investigation, does the Prime Minister agree with the Minister for Home Affairs that the use of performance enhancing and elicit drugs in Australian sport is 'widespread amongst Australian professional athletes'?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (15:02): Thank you very much. To the member who asked the question: I actually do not think that Australians want to see us playing politics about sport in this parliament, particularly not at this time.

What we have had is the professionals of the Australian Crime Commission deliver a report. We have had the professionals at the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority also dealing with this issue. From the perspective of the fans I can well and truly understand that fans who care passionately about their sport have watched this with a sense of anxiety. For fans of some clubs that have been out there publicly dealing with this issue there have been very difficult days indeed. I know what it is like to care passionately about a sporting club. But these things—

Mr Hartsuyker: I rise on a point of order with respect to direct relevance. The question asked, 'Does the Prime Minister agree with the Minister for Home Affairs?'

The SPEAKER: The member for Cowper will resume his seat. The Prime Minister is answering the question and has the call.

Ms GILLARD: Thank you very much. What is available to government, what is available to the opposition, and what is now available to members of the public through public statements, are insights into the work of the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority. These are independent and expert agencies. I have nothing before me which would lead me to conclude that the findings and statements of these agencies publicly are anything other than correct. So the Australian Crime Commission has made a series of statements publicly. I have nothing before me which would suggest that those statements are not correct. I have nothing before me which would suggest that the public statements of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority are not correct. Those statements, of course, have caused reactions, understandably, and concern amongst fans. And it is important that these independent agencies get on with their work.

What can government do? Government can make sure that, in particular, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, which now has a lot of work to do to deal with this matter, is appropriately resourced—and we have done so. We have received a request from them for more resources, and we have said yes to that. And if we receive further requests for more resources then of course they will be made available to assist them to get about this important work as expeditiously as it can be done.