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Tuesday, 19 February 1980
Page: 11

Mr COHEN (ROBERTSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Prime Minister aware that 24 of the 26 international sporting federations have stated that they will not support a boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow and that they will not sanction any rival games to the Olympics? Is he also aware that the general assembly of international federations has stated that it will not accede to an alternative games to the Olympics? Does he realise that, if the alternative international games he is advocating do proceed, all those who participate may be suspended from further international competition?

Mr ELLICOTT (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Home Affairs) - The position at the moment is that the Australian Government, with the information it has, believes that there will emerge, and will be, an effective boycott of the Games in Moscow. Over 30 nations in this world have already indicated that they would support such a boycott. The Government would expect that in that event the Olympic committees in those countries would fall behind the governments in those countries. I can assure the honourable member that if that occurred the Australian Government would certainly expect that the Australian Olympic Committee would fall well and truly behind the Government. May I say that at the meeting we had last week the Olympic Federation representatives listened very attentively to what the Prime Minister had to say to them and they will obviously give very serious consideration to what the Government has decided.

I also remind honourable members of an important matter; that is, that in a country such as Australia there is only one body that can decide matters relating to international affairs, and that is the Federal Government. It is the Federal Government's duty and responsibility to make a decision on matters affecting Australia's security and international relations. If the Government makes such a decision it would expect everybody in the country to give it the attention it well deserves. I am quite sure that the members of the Olympic Federation will do just that.

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