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Labor's better plan for sport.

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Hon Stephen Martin MP

Federal Member for Cunningham

Shadow Minister for Small Business and Customs

Shadow Minister for Sport and Tourism


Embargoed until 11.00am 21 September 1998



Labor’s Better Plan for Sport


Stephen Martin, the Feder al Shadow Minister for Sport, together with the Labor Candidate for Lowe, John Murphy, today released Labor’s Sports Policy at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre at Homebush.


“In an additional commitment of $110 million over three years, Labor will maintain current funding levels to sporting organisations and athletes post 2000, said Mr Martin


“Labor will commit $20 million over three years to funding the Australian Paralympic Committee.


“Labor is committed to on-going funding for sport at all levels, from community to elite, from juniors to masters, including Australians with disabilities.


“Sports participation is integral to the health and well-being of Australia. Australians of all ages should be encouraged wherever possible to be part of a sport.


“As part of Labor’s Better Plan for Sport, A Beazley Labor Government will:


· As a matter of urgency conduct a review into the role, Board composition, management levels and direction of the ASC, and examine funding priorities in relation to gender and ability and direction of the ASC.


· As a matter of urgency conduct a review into the role and funding priorities of the Australian Institute of Sport.


· Maintain the existing budget of the OAP and provide appropriate levels of funding after the 2000 Sydney Olympics; and examine ways of extending the benefits of the OAP for a wider range of sports and their elite athletes.


· Establish an on-going forum with non-government sporting organisations including the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), the Australian Council of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER), the Australian Schools Sports Council and the Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) to:


·  Enhance sports management and industry training

·  Maximise opportunities to export sport

·  increase the number and training of volunteers in sport

·  Undertake further research into community and elite sport

·  Explore the recommendations of the recent parliamentary inquiry, Rethinking the Funding of Community Sporting and Recreational Facilities:

A S porting Chance, to ensure all Australians have access to safe and diverse facilities.


· Maximise opportunities for young Australians to participate in sport.


· Institute direct linkages between the Department of Health and the Department of Sport to ensure strategic programs are developed to increase sports participation through the community.


· Ensure funding levels are maintained to the Australian Sports Drug Agency to provide a strong deterrent for drug use in sport; ensure the financial burden of testing does not fall to the athletes; and, work cooperatively with the AOC and other organisations to enhance international efforts in the fight to rid sport of performance enhancing and illicit drugs to ensure a level playing field exists for athletes.


· Reinstate the Women’s Prime Ministerial Sports Awards; examine ways to encourage more women to participate in sport; and encourage more women to assume positions of leadership throughout Australian sport.


· Establish a football academy for all codes, including AFL, ARU, ARL ASF, to bring together under-21 players for intensive squad training in the lead up to national championships and international matches. The Commonwealth will contribute around 50 per cent of the funding for the academy.


· Re-instate the funding to Recfish which was cut by the Howard Government.


· Support the bid for Melbourne to become the headquarters of the Commonwealth Games Federation.


· Repeal the Howard Government’s parallel importing decision in relation to packaging and labeling to restore security and certainty in the sponsorship of Australian sport.


· Reinvigorate Water Safety by:


·  Establishing the Australian Water Safety Research Committee and conducting a National Water Safety Audit;

·  Identifying “black spot” drowning locations;

·  Tackling the 0-5 age group drowning problem through education;

·  Establishing national standards for water safety education;

·  Targeting specific groups identified in the high risk category; and

·  Increasing financial support to the existing Water Safety Organisations.

·  Examine ways of encouraging industry to utilise the Australian Sports Foundation to contribute to Australian sport.


The Howard Government’s record on sport has been a series of broken promises:




A Liberal/National Government will be committed to maintaining existing levels of sport funding.

Coalition Sport and Recreation Policy, 1996




· In the August 1996 Budget the Howard Government cut $20.5 million from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC)


· The Howard Government cut funding to more than 25 sports with some organisations losing their entire funding base


· In the May 1998 Budget the Howard Government slashed the sports budget after the Sydney Olympics


Labor believes that sport is an important part of the social fabric and national identity of Australia. Sport is a key element of a multicultural and tolerant society and provides a forum to break down cultural barriers between communities within Australia.


“Sport is important to our economy and provides Australia with substantial export income particular through In-bound tourism. The sports industry employs an increasing number of young Australians.


“Labor recognises the importance of sport at all levels for people with disabilities and is committed to providing a framework for opportunities for participation, administration and coaching.


“Labor also recognises that specific programs need to be provided to encourage women to participate in sport and to take leadership positions in sport. Many women’s sports and other lower profile sports also require special assistance in attaining sponsorship and recognition.


“Unlike the Howard Government, Labor believes that the Federal Government has a major role to play in sport.


“Labor will maximise opportunities for all Australians to participate in



Contact: Cassandra Gelade    0411 691 495 or     0418 420 339