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Friday, 31 May 1985
Page: 2968


Senator JACK EVANS —I rise to place on record a total rebuttal of the claim made by certain Opposition speakers that this Bill was opposed by all sports and sports associations across Australia. I have letters from the National Football League of Australia Ltd and from the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia, which I seek leave to have incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The documents read as follows-

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

(Incorporated in Victoria)

120 Jolimont Road Jolimont, Vic. 3002 Tel. (03) 63 4977

7 May 1985

Mr L. J. MartinPresidentConfederation of Australian Sport78 Jolimont StreetJolimont, Vic. 3002

Dear Les

Re Australian Sports Commission

I have chosen to write to you direct rather than complete your Confederation's Questionnaire as I am concerned that certain answers may create an impression that the NFL is for one body and against the other.

We believe that the Confederation and the Sports Commission should have two very important but distinctly different roles.

The NFL is most appreciative of the Confederation's initiatives and achievements and fully supports it as the organisation to represent the interests of National Sporting Organisations. However we strongly support the concept of the Australian Sports Commission, with its independent membership, being responsible for policy and allocation in respect of Federal Government funding.

As with every statutory authority, there will be some shortcomings. Certainly, I was disappointed at the large membership of the Commission. I have personally spoken to John Brown, Ted Harris and Bruce McDonald along these lines.

However, I am satisfied that the establishment of the ASC is a most progressive innovation. Its structure and the independent nature of its membership will permit it to make a positive contribution to Australian sport. The general thrust of its activities should, I believe, receive our full support.

Having been a member of the past Sports Advisory Council, which I found to be ineffective and at times parochial, I personally support the advent of the ASC and do not agree that a separate advisory committee is necessary.

The NFL does not conform to the view that the Commission should be representative of National Associations as this would again lead to parochialism and sectional lobbying evident in the former Sports Advisory Council. Whatever the perceived failings of the Commission's present membership, it is at least independent in a sense that the individuals are not open to instruction from sporting associations.

The interim Commission comprising expertise in Business, Public Sector and Sport, is considerably more progressive than a return to the system of an Advisory Council, essentially representing vested interests.

I am confident that any areas of concern regarding the roles of the Confederation and the Commission can and will be resolved.

Yours sincerely

A. J. AYLETT

President

17.5.85

The Hon. J. J. Brown, M.P.Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism,Parliament House,Canberra

Apparently the LTAA was referred to in Parliament yesterday by the Opposition as being opposed to aspects of the Australian Sports Commission Bill.

I wish to make it clear that the LTAA, in fact is not in opposition to the Bill and indeed specifically declined to answer a questionnaire circulated by the Confederation of Australian Sport dealing with it. This was done because it was felt that the questionnaire was loaded and we certainly did not wish to appear to be party to providing material for opposition use.

I may say that I had, previous to this telex forwarded correspondence to you.

Nothing in the above statements is meant to suggest that the Confederation of Australian Sport has dishonoured the confidentiality of its questionnaire.

COLIN McDONALD

Executive Director, Lawn Tennis Association of Australia

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.