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AIS upgrade welcome, but no long-term plan for sport in Budget.



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Senator Kate Lundy Senator for the Australian Capital Territory Shadow Minister for Information Technology and Sport

AIS upgrade welcome, but no long-term plan for sport in Budget

The Federal Budget reveals the Howard Government’s complete lack of a long-term vision for sport.

The Government’s decision to upgrade the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra is welcomed by the Labor Party because it helps ensure the sustainability of Australia’s centre for sporting excellence in Canberra.

Labor has constantly pressured the Coalition over its cuts to sport and its lack of investment in the AIS, and the Budget response was well overdue.

However much of the new money to enhance facilities at the AIS does not arrive until 2005-06.

There are many in the sporting sector who have been let down by a Budget bereft of any long-term strategy for Australian sport.

There was an expectation that after years of cuts, the Coalition would actually unveil some sort of policy vision or agenda for developing Australia’s sporting infrastructure.

Once again this expectation has not been met, and the Minister for Sport is still basing the Coalition’s entire policy agenda on Backing Australia’s Sporting Ability, a 10 page glossy booklet full of motherhood statements and feel good rhetoric.

The Minister for Sport, Rod Kemp, has taken his predecessor’s mantle of being a ‘do nothing’ Minister and squandered an opportunity to provide leadership and a comprehensive agenda for sport and physical activity in Australia.

15 May 2002 Media contact: Simon Tatz on 6277 3334 or 0418 488 295