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Summary of address to fifth annual confraternity conference of past Christian Brothers sporting clubs and associations in Queensland and the Northern Territory

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Summary of address by Bill Hayden, MP, to the Fifth Annual

Confraternity Conference of past Christian Brothers Sporting Clubs

and Associations in Queensland and the NT. Ipswich, Saturday , February 10. '

Australia has a miserable record in support for sport in comparison to most overseas countries.

A rarely acknowledged fact is that the Federal Government receives over S35 million a year in sales tax on sporting goods alone L Very little of this goes back into sport.

For instance, the FraserC.Government spends only 9 cents per head of population on sporting facilities and support for sporting teams and associations. By contrast, Canada spends 81.46 per head on sport and Britain 47 cents per head.

The Confederation of Australian Sport produced a report in 1977

which highlights many of the funding contrasts.

It also pointed out that, because of Australia's size, - - ■

and 1,he cost of travel, _ ■- financial support by the Federal

Government is desperately needed.

The Confederation - named the lack of good coaching as Australia's biggest problem. Not only are funds scarce for. attractir top .overseas coaches,- but Australia is losing many of its own

top psccle to countries where funds are more readily available,

The Canadian Government spent 532 million on assistance to .

athletes in the Commonwealth Games year of 1973 when the Games were held in ' ' -Canada. The total commitment by the .

Australian Government for our team was 5225,000,

The Australian Olympic Federation has stopped trying to have its funds -provided by the Federal Government.and has turned to private

companies for sponsorship for the 198.0 Olympics. Shell Oil, Adidas and Jetset Tours are sponsoring the Australian team.

However, the amount of money " . f provided by these companies is nowhere near that needed to field a strong team, and properly prepare it. Comm-onwealth support is still needed.

What Government has to recognise is that our national sporting .

teams project a national identity. Financial support for these team; is a national responsibility. Yet we expect them to represent

Australia on a financial shoestringirrespective of what sport

we're talking about,"