Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 4 April 2019
Page: 14838

Mr ZAPPIA (Makin) (12:39): I take this opportunity to speak on the Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Amendment Bill 2018. Can I say from the outset that I'm somewhat surprised that it has taken this long to get this legislation into the House, given that there is some urgency to it. We have to have the legislation in place and then, in turn, rely on many of the state governments to enact complementary legislation to achieve the objectives of the bill. Given that the legislation was first brought into the Senate, I believe, in December 2018, I would have thought that the legislation would be before us a little earlier. Nevertheless, here we are, on possibly the very last day of sitting of this parliament, dealing with this legislation. It's important that we get it through the House today.

Labor supports this bill, which, as the Minister for Energy said a moment ago, amends the Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Act 2014. That act is out of date and refers to past events; therefore, if we want the act to be relevant to future events, it has to be appropriately amended. This amendment bill updates the act so that it refers to upcoming major sporting events; specifically, the International Cricket Council T20 World Cup cricket tournament, which includes both the men's and the women's tournaments. It's to be held in Australia in 2020. The amendments in the bill will make the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 a major sporting event under the act. They also insert information required to protect related intellectual property, such as the event's name, logo, branding and similar things. Furthermore, the amendments set the period of protection—again, as the minister said a moment ago—to end on 30 November 2021.

The protections provided by these amendments are standard and necessary for major sporting events hosted in Australia and mirror protections provided under the act for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games only last year. The ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Local Organising Committee hopes this bill can pass the parliament as soon as possible. As I said at the outset, that's because we want to ensure the amendments to the act become effective at least one year prior to the ICC Women's T20 World Cup, which will be held in February and March of next year. That, effectively, is just under a year away.

Labor understands that these protections will be complemented by equivalent protections against ambush marketing—which the minister alluded to in his opening remarks—that will be introduced by the governments of states and territories that will be hosting the matches in the year 2020. It's important for those pieces of legislation also to go through the parliaments of the state jurisdictions.

National and international sport is big business. It generates big dollars for a lot of entities. However, it is costly to stage, and sponsors rely on exclusive rights to the use of logos and images for the products which they then market in order to recoup their sponsorship costs. Those rights need to be protected, and they need to be protected by law. That is the purpose of this bill—to endeavour to do that. I'm aware that in past events where there have been products sold and logos used there have been those who have sought to capitalise on those products by providing counterfeit products. Having legislation such as this provides certainty to the organisers and sponsors and, in turn, ensures that the event will proceed. Of course, if the event proceeds then that is good for Australia's cricket fans—in this case—who have the opportunity to see the world's best cricketers in action here in Australia. It's also good for Australia, because the Australian economy will benefit from both the tourism generated and the turnover of products that are made and sold.

International events provide the rest of the world with exposure to Australia, through the television screening of those events, and that in itself is one of the best ways we can promote Australia as a tourism destination. I'm aware that, through many such events, tourism to Australia has increased. Earlier this year we had, as we have now had for many years, the Tour Down Under in South Australia. It's considered an international event. It not only brings people into Australia—and into South Australia in particular—from around the world; over the week of the tournament it also is televised in so many countries across the world, which in turn provides South Australia with a wonderful opportunity to promote itself on the world stage. And, indeed, we have much in Australia to promote. So, whilst we have our tourism industry doing that each and every day, I see international sporting events as one of the ways of doing that in an indirect but very effective manner.

Australia is a sporting nation, and I think the fact that Australia is a sporting nation is one of our strengths. Over the years we have not only produced some of the best sportspeople in the world in this country; more importantly, this has also done two things that I just want to briefly touch on. International sports provide inspiration and opportunity for young people in this country in a way that few other things do. Madam Deputy Speaker Claydon, from your own work as a member of parliament, you would be aware of the sporting people in your community and the grants that are provided to them to enable them to compete in state, national and international events. It is through those grants that I see so many young people having the opportunity to pursue something that they want to do. In many cases, I have seen young people from my own community going the whole way and ending up representing Australia. I believe that that all starts when those young people get to see an international event in progress. They, too, can dream of one day being the person out there on the field playing the sport. Continuing to support our children through those grants and also providing them with the opportunity to see the best in the world in front of them is, I think, one of the most inspiring things we can do for them. For many of them, that would not be possible if the events were not held here in Australia, and that would not be possible if the promoters and organisers of those events were not protected through legislation such as this.

The other matter that I want to address is particularly relevant, given what happened in New Zealand in recent times. It is that sport in this country has brought people together in a way that nothing else has. I have seen people come together on the sporting field and support one another regardless of their race, their colour, their nationality or their religion, even when they are playing on opposing teams. I believe it has been one of the terrific ways that the barriers for people in this country have broken down. It's a prime example of why it makes sense to support our sporting communities out there.

In my own electorate I regularly visit sporting communities and sporting events of all persuasions. I'm sure that my electorate simply reflects what is happening right around the country. There is a terrific effort being made by all the volunteers, supporters and parents who make all of that possible. Quite often they do so week in, week out on a purely voluntary basis with very little financial support from anywhere else. I'll be attending a sporting presentation this coming Saturday night for a local cricket team, as I will be in two weeks time for another cricket team. That just highlights the importance of sports within our community. It also highlights, in my mind, that cricket, which this particular legislation is focusing on, is one of the sports that, in this country, has now become a national sport. In our summer months particularly, I rarely go anywhere without seeing a TV screen showing international cricket—or I am at a cricket match myself. Cricket and Australian Rules football are, respectively, perhaps the two most dominant sports in winter and summer. This country can be proud of what it has managed to do because of its support for those sports.

The last thing I want to mention is that on the weekend just passed the Australian national women's football league, the AFL Women's, played its grand final in Adelaide. The match was between the women's Crows team and the women's Carlton team. The Crows won, and I take this opportunity to congratulate them, and in particular the captain, Erin Phillips, who led the side and has been a magnificent player for them throughout. Unfortunately, Erin was injured in the game, but nevertheless was able to come back at the end of the game to at least acknowledge the win. I congratulate not only the women's Crows team for their splendid effort on Sunday but also Erin for her leadership of the team. My commiserations to Carlton, who I believe put up a really good effort in competing on the day, but obviously only one team can win. The last thing I will say about that game is this: women's football has sometimes not been supported in the same way as men's football, and it's suggested that women's football is perhaps not of a standard equivalent to men's football. Anyone who believes that ought to go along to watch a women's league game. It was a spectacular game. To the people around Australia I say this also: it was wonderful to see Adelaide Oval absolutely full to the brim with followers and spectators. I think it surprised most people that we would get a capacity crowd, but we did. I think that is testament to the quality of the football being played and also, again, to the sporting culture we have in this country, which is something that I'm proud of and something that we should try to protect for as long as we can, because I think it is one of the great assets of Australian life.