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Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Page: 5062

London Olympic Games


Senator THISTLETHWAITE (New South Wales) (14:31): My question is to the Minister for Sport, Senator Lundy. With the London summer Olympic Games now officially ended, can the minister advise the Senate of Australia's performance at the games and our athletes' achievements?


Senator LUNDY (Australian Capital TerritoryMinister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Sport) (14:32): I believe all Australians are incredibly proud of how our athletes performed at the London summer Olympics over the last two weeks. Our team hit the benchmark that was anticipated, of 35 medals, and while there may have been a few more silver than expected, each and every one of those tells a remarkable story. In fact, each and every Olympian's performance tells a remarkable story of both hard work, often over a lifetime, and each and every one of those performances has earned our respect and our acknowledgement. Somewhere around Australia those performances will inspire a young Australian to perhaps take up that sport for the first time, perhaps to try a little harder in their chosen endeavour, and so that wonderful circle of inspiration by our elite athletes, sustaining a system of high participation rates in sport across the country, continues.

The breadth and depth of Australian sporting talent has been there on show for everyone to see, but it is true we cannot be complacent. As sports assess their high performance programs, they do so knowing the rest of the world has been pretty busy in improving their own with more countries on the podium than ever before and countries including the host, Great Britain, having success that is unprecedented. I particularly acknowledge the Chef de Mission Nick Green and our flag bearers at the opening ceremony, Lauren Jackson, and at the closing ceremony, Malcolm Page, and take this opportunity to congratulate each and every person, Olympians and support staff and their families for such a fine effort in representing Australia so well in London 2012.


Senator THISTLETHWAITE (New South Wales) (14:34): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Can the minister update the Senate on the role that Australian businesses and experts played in making London the successful games that it was?


Senator LUNDY (Australian Capital TerritoryMinister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Sport) (14:34): I thank Senator Thistlethwaite for this question, because Australians had a wonderful role to play in the success of the London games. I begin by congratulating the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games for delivering an exceptional experience. As Australians we can be proud that since Sydney, in 2000, Australia's expertise in the organisation and delivery of major sporting events has continued to strengthen. In London there is an impressive list of 46 Australian businesses who played key roles in delivering the games.

While I was in London I made the effort to meet with as many of these businesses as possible and, with the support of the Australian High Commission and our High Commissioner John Dauth, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to launch Austrade's Australia Unlimited new app, Track Record, which presents these 46 businesses in a very accessible and useful way. (Time expired)


Senator THISTLETHWAITE (New South Wales) (14:35): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. Can the minister inform the Senate on any Australian involvement in the creation of the London Olympic cauldron and has the minister yet rowed down the Thames?

The PRESIDENT: You need respond to that part that applies to your portfolio.



Senator LUNDY (Australian Capital TerritoryMinister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Sport) (14:35): It is a testament to Aussie innovation that the creator of the magnificent Olympic flame and cauldron was thanks to South Australian company FCT Flames run by Con Manias. I also met Mr Manias whilst at the Austrade function I mentioned. For those of you who did not see it—I do not know how you would have missed it—the flame was made up of 204 smaller flames, each representing a nation taking part. It was totally different to any other cauldron that we have ever seen at the Olympic Games. It was a challenging structure to create and was widely acknowledged as being both elegant and beautiful, as well as being symbolically meaningful of the coming together of the 204 countries that participated. There were several others, of course. I met with Howard Croker from Croker Oars and Martin Schlegel from Advanced Polymer Technology, who made the blue hockey turf. I am yet to row the course at Eton Dorney and I will do that when I go back for the Paralympics.