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White Paper a wasted exercise unless it addresses sport and recreation needs of all Australians.



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Media Release

SENATOR KATE LUNDY

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT AND YOUTH AFFAIRS

SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

 

White Paper a wasted exercise unless it addresses sport and recreation needs of all Australians

 

The Government’s White Pa per into the future of sport will be a wasted exercise unless it addresses the sporting and recreational needs of all Australians, Shadow Minister for Sport, Senator Kate Lundy, said today.

 

The White Paper, commissioned by the Minister in June, was due to be released in early October. However it has been delayed amid speculation that it makes recommendations at odds with Government policy.

 

“The delay has fuelled suspicion that the Government is planning to cut federal funding to Australian sport and make changes to ASDA, Senator Lundy said.

 

·  Any changes to ASDA that threaten its independence and ability to operate at arm s length from the Australian Sports Commission would be disastrous and devalue Olympic drug testing programs. ASDA must be entrenched as a totally independent world-class drug-testing agency.

 

·  The Australian Institute of Sport is already cutting Olympic sports from their program because of a forecasted diminution of Commonwealth funding. For example gymnastics, volleyball, diving, canoeing, kayaking, squash and water polo are earmarked for axing from the AIS because of projected funding cutbacks.

 

·  There is concern the States’ ambition for greater control of sport will provide the Federal Government with a convenient excuse for further cutbacks.

 

·  The decision to cut the Olympic Athlete Program post-Olympics has created a dire situation. All eyes will now be on the Minister to see to see what degree of support Olympic sports will have in the lead up to Athens 2004.

 

“Minister Kelly’s in tention to wind back funding to sport after the 2000 Olympics is a short sighted and ill-conceived policy resulting in a roller-coaster funding ride, rather than consistent and continuous funding of sport.

 

“Funding must be balanced to ensure that the Australian Sports Commission and non-government organisations equally benefit from the Olympic legacy. Under the Coalition, the funding of elite and community-based sport has not been balanced and too many Australians are missing out on the opportunity to participate in sport and recreation activities.

 

“The Labor Party left the Coalition with a world-class sporting infrastructure which they should build on, not diminish with a thousand cuts, as is the typical Liberal style.

 

 

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26 November 1999

 

Contact: Simon Tatz 6277 3334 or 0418 488295

 

al  1999-11-29  10:36