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Thursday, 20 June 1996
Page: 2423


Miss JACKIE KELLY —My question is addressed to the Minister for Sport, Territories and Local Government. Is the minister aware of recently announced Australian innovations such as the bicycle to be used by Australian cyclists at the Atlanta Olympics? Is there a commercial benefit to Australia from these AIS developments?


Mr WARWICK SMITH —I thank the member for her question. I think all of us are very proud to know that the work of the Australian Institute of Sport, through the Sports Commission, has greatly advantaged many of our athletes. That will particularly be the case over the next little while when they are preparing for the Atlanta Olympics. There has been a range of new high-technology developments in sports science—and Australia is one of the world leaders in that regard—which I would like to bring to the attention of the House. They will enhance the performance of our athletes at the Olympics Games.

The AIS is charged with the responsibility to undertake this research and development in the area of sporting equipment, in particular, and technology as well. A number of products have been developed. If these products have a potentially broader market, they will be commercialised to the advantage of all athletes and the AIS.

There has been a recent innovation in the cycling area for the Australian cycling team. Many of our cyclists have done particularly well. We are looking forward to seeing how Kathy Watt goes at the Atlanta Games. A carbon fibre cycle frame with aerodynamic handlebars and forks has been refined since the 1994 Commonwealth Games. Following the Atlanta Games it is proposed to commercialise this cycle with a model being made available to the worldwide triathlete market. It will be available to all people and, I suppose one should say, we hope the parliament will acquire some in view of previous events in this place.

The AIS has also developed a water rowing analysis system which provides coaches and athletes with realtime feedback on the forces on the oar throughout the stroke. This cutting edge development enables coaches to identify technique deficiencies and seat location in the rowing shell and to quantify the demands of rowing. Following Atlanta this is proposed to be commercialised. This is also another piece of unique equipment.


Mr McMullan —Is that the one you couldn't use?


Mr WARWICK SMITH —Touche! In other areas of research there has been an

immediate flow-on to the general community of the benefits of the AIS research. A fluid replacement drink, Iso Sport, was developed for our athletes in association with an Australian company, Berrivale. Our athletes have benefited from it. This is also part of the commercialisation program and is available to the general population.

The work that has been undertaken by the AIS in the sports science area, both in terms of rowing equipment and the new carbon bicycle, is leading edge technology. If members of this House have the opportunity, I would invite them to take the time to go to the AIS sports medicine area and have a look at the developments. In that way they can do their bit to support the development of these world leading technologies and also extend their good wishes to the athletes, many of whom are preparing for Atlanta in a few weeks time.