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Encouraging players: developing champions: the Liberal and National Parties' sport and recreation policy

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Encouraging Players...

Developing Champions

The Liberal and National Parties' Sport and Recreation Policy

Z 3 February 1996

February 1996















2. 2000 PLUS 13











A Liberal/National Government will:

1. be committed to maintaining existing levels of sport funding;

2. continue to support and maintain funding to ensure the independence of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in the vital role it plays in encouraging excellence in Australian sport and in the lead-up to the 2000 Olympics;

3. strengthen links between the AIS and state-based institutes of sport, ensuring, where possible, that elite competitors who do not wish to move 'away from established support structures are not disadvantaged;

4_ continue to support and cooperate with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG), Australian Paralympic Federation and other agencies and organisations involved in the 2000 Olympics and Paralympics;

5. implement legislation to ensure the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Paralympics are free from "ambush marketing";

6. create a program "2000 PLUS" which will establish a high level working party to study the most effective ways of maximising the benefits flowing from the 2000 Olympics and Paralympics for all Australians;

7. ensure strong links are established and maintained between the recently formed peak recreation body, the Recreation Industry Council of Australia, and the Minister for Sport ;

8. ensure that sports funding strikes a balance between elite achievers and grass roots participation;

9. convene a summit of State Education and Sports Ministers to cooperatively establish ways to increase the participation of school children in sport and physical education;

10. appoint a Task Force to develop an integrated approach to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access to sporting programs;



maintain the current levels of recurrent funding for disabled sport and continue to support programs such as "Aussie Able";

12. work towards making the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games drug free by: appointing a "Special Envoy for Anti-Doping' with international responsibilities on anti-drugs matters in the

lead-up to 2000;

implementing a protocol to the anti-doping bilateral agreement between Australia and China prior to the Atlanta Games;

supporting the establishment of the independent tribunal system to deal with disputes in the drug area;

13. not raise existing taxes or introduce new taxes on sporting goods;

14. promote the operations of the Australian Sports Foundation for all sports;

15. support the successful Australian city in their bid for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.



Sport and Recreation is a vital part of Australian society with huge potential for individual and national development, unity and well-being.

Seven million Australians participate in sport and many more in recreational activities. More than 540,000 are involved in non-playing activities such as administration.

From the first thrill of a netball through the hoop, or early kicks of a. footy down at the local park, through to the glory of putting the ball over the line or through the goal posts in a Rugby World Cup or AFL grand final - or winning a medal in the Olympic Pool - sport touches the lives of Australians in a special way.

'Australia's natural advantages ensure that recreational and sporting activities are prominent in the lives of us all. We have a great egalitarian tradition which has ensured that Australians, regardless of socio-economic position, are able to be involved in sporting or

recreational activities, as participants, organisers and coaches or spectators and supporters.

The Liberal and National Parties are committed to ensuring that Australians have access to sporting and recreational activities and to encourage as many people as possible to participate in such activities. To this end, we have made a number of commitments in relation to the

maintenance and improvement of programs and funding.

A Liberal/National Parties Government, through the provision of adequate resources and programs, will support our elite sportspeople, in their efforts to achieve and maintain their position on the dais with the world's best. We will encourage as wide a community participation as possible in sport and recreation.

It is an honour that Sydney, Australia has been chosen to host the Olympic Games in the Year 2000. The Liberal and National Parties will do everything possible to ensure that the Games are successful for all those involved and that they provide long-term benefits to

Australian sport and Australians in general.

A Liberal/National Government will encourage greater community and private sector involvement in sport and recreation. Much has been achieved in Sports and Recreation but we are capable of achieving much more, with the community, the private sector and governments working together in partnership.


The Federal Government has a dual role: to encourage as wide a

participation in sport and recreation as possible and to support elite sports people who are role models for the participants of tomorrow.

Government should enhance, not distort, decisions made by sporting and recreational organisations. The strategic objective of Commonwealth assistance must be to maximise opportunities for all, from the grass roots to the elite levels.

The Liberal and National Parties have a proud history of support for sport and recreation at the Federal level. The establishment of the Australian Institute of Sport in 1981 was a Liberal/National initiative which saw the dawn of a new era in Australian sport.

Strong support for the development of sport and recreation will continue under a Liberal/National Government in close cooperation with sporting and recreational organisations, State Territory and local governments and the private sector, for the benefit of all Australians.

Participation in sporting and recreational activities provides tangible health benefits to individuals as well as a range of other associated advantages. Through the Australian Sports Commission, the Commonwealth provides a number of programs to encourage participation.

Support for participation programs and elite athletes must be provided in a balanced way.

Participation programs, successfully implemented in a cooperative partnership between a range of bodies, including sports and recreational organisations, State, Federal and local Government, can result in significant improvements in our achievement at elite levels. In return, achievements at the elite level promote a greater interest in participation at the grass roots.

• A Liberal/National Government will ensure that participation programs and support for sporting organisations are aimed at all levels of the community, including groups identified as disadvantaged.



The 1992 Report by the Senate Standing -Committee on Environment,

Recreation and the Arts identified a range of serious problems and a long term decline in sports participation in the school system. Since that Report a greater focus and some positive change has occurred in some States and Territories.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• as soon as practical after the election, convene a Summit of State Education and Sports Ministers to cooperatively establish. national benchmarks for participation of schoolchildren in school sport and physical education;

• ensure that programs such as Aussie Sports, which work in cooperation with the States and Territories to improve involvement in sports by school-age children, continue and are improved;

• work with sporting organisations, State Ministries of Sport and Education and the private sector to boost links between school sports, sporting clubs, local government and the community;

• examine ways to boost more effective use of existing facilities, such as school ovals and local multi-purpose sports facilities, to create a more active interlinking of school sport with off-campus sporting activities.

Indigenous Australians have made an enormous contribution to sport in Australia. Many of the all-time greats of Australian sport in football, tennis and athletics, to name a few, are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are one of the most disadvantaged groups in Australia. Research shows tangible improvement in health in communities where there are higher levels of participation in sport. A number of programs funded through the Australian Sports Commission and Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander Commission (ATSIC) are aimed at encouraging indigenous participation in Sport. These include programs such as the National


Sport and Recreatio.n Program, Regional Council funding, the Young

Persons Sport and Recreation Development Program and the recently announced Indigenous Olympic Training Centre.

Most of .these programs are not achieving longer term improvement in administration and coaching. The effectiveness of the Young Persons Sport and Recreation Development Program varies greatly from State to State.

The Australian Sports Commission and ATSIC are continuing discussion on streamlining of these programs."

A Liberal/National Government will:

• appoint a Task Force, comprising representatives from ATSIC, the Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS), the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and prominent indigenous sportspeople, to develop an

integrated national approach to improving Aboriginal access to sport. This body would aim to streamline existing programs and avoid duplication by ensuring that they dovetail with current initiatives;

• work cooperatively with the sporting community and relevant State departments to eradicate racism and racial vilification in sport.

Participation in sport and recreation should not be limited by age. Indeed, medical evidence overwhelmingly links sound health to regular physical exercise.

Ensuring the provision of adequate and appropriate sporting and recreational opportunities for senior citizens is an important aspect in the maintenance of a healthy, active life for older Australians.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• work within existing structures to improve links with peak seniors bodies to bolster access of seniors to sport and recreation;



promote an exchange of programs like the former NSW Coalition Government's "Walking for Pleasure" in consultation with State and Local Government•and recreation organisations.

Australia has an outstanding record of achievement in disabled sport with disabled sportspeople being involved and excelling in an ever-increasing number of sports.

The profile and achievements of the Paralympic movement have grown worldwide in recent years and Australia has been a leader.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• maintain current levels of recurrent spending on disabled sport and continue to support programs like "Aussie Able";

• examine ways of increasing participation rates among disabled sportspeople in consultation with disabled sport and recreation organisations.

The Liberal and National Parties recognise that a range of measures is necessary to boost participation rates of women in sport, particularly girls in the mid to late teen years. High-profile sportswomen can be effective role models and provide positive encouragement for girls in sports participation.

Despite commissioning reports like "Invisible Games" to probe the lack of media coverage of women's sport, Labor has not done enough to redress this imbalance. The Liberal and National Parties are

concerned about the relatively low profile given to women's sport, particularly in terms of media coverage and sponsorship.

We do not believe in regulating or legislating to increase media coverage and note the advances many organisations, like netball, have already made in making themselves more marketable. We commend those media outlets which are now working to improve their

coverage for women.


• A Liberal/National Government will closely consult with

established women's sport and recreation networks and ensure that the ASC's support to women's sport includes a greater emphasis on access to marketing support where necessary.

INTERFACE ........................::........::: :..::::.:::::::.:

The level of participation in recreational activities continues to expand

as communications, technology, more flexible working hours and increased amounts of leisure time become available.

For many Australians recreational activities offer a more convenient option than structured or organised sports and often enable the whole family to be involved.

Clearly, State and local, governments have the primary role in administering public sector facilitation of recreation activities. Significant federal resources have been allocated to sport, with the

large proportion being directed to major sports, with less focus on recreational needs.

The Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) and peak recreational bodies including Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) have been involved in the creation of a new national peak organisation to represent the interests of all sporting and recreational organisations and participants at a national level.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• give greater recognition to increasing the profile of recreation as an "industry" which employs many Australians and involves so many volunteers and participants;

• recognise and work closely with the Recreation Industry Council of Australia.

The Liberal and National Parties support an independent Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) as providing an effective organisational structure for ensuring a constructive partnership between sports and Government.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• maintain existing funding for the ASC;



ensure the Commission's resources are directed efficiently at core activities and that the effectiveness of all programs are regularly evaluated against clear objectives.

A Liberal/National Government established the Australian Institute of Sport as a world standard centre of excellence in sport in 1981.

The Canberra campus is home to artistic gymnastics, netball, basketball, men's road cycling, women's track and road cycling, rowing, men's soccer, swimming and water polo.

Most sports, however, are de-centralised with the AIS operating facilities in Brisbane (diving, softball and squash), Adelaide (men's cricket and men's track cycling), Melbourne (golf and baseball), the Gold Coast (sprint canoeing), Sydney (men's volleyball) and Perth

(hockey and,women's volleyball).

The Liberal and National Parties support this decentralisation. We will foster a genuinely cooperative and constructive partnership with State and Territory Institutes of Sport, the AIS and private training centres.

We recognise that state-based institutes act as a vital part of the network which drives elite sport, and that the welfare of some competitors is not always best served by taking them away from their existing support network.

While acknowledging that some support services are of such a specialised nature that they must be centrally maintained to be effective, we recognise the need for a balanced system which maximises opportunities for athletes and coaches.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• wherever possible, and in full consultation with sporting organisations and the State institutes, ensure developing athletes, their parents and coaches have a genuine choice between entering residential AIS programs or receiving support for home based training.


The Liberal/National Coalition believes that it is vital to maintain

funding levels which will allow sports to commit to high-quality programs for participation, administration and improving coaching and elite preparations, particularly in the lead-up to the Olympics.

We also believe that certainty in funding is vital to sports so that planning is long-term.

The decision of the Labor government to slash more than $30m from sports funding in the 1995 Budget destroyed the certainty that the rolling funding of Maintain the Momentum achieved.

Labor only announced replacement funding a fortnight ago after pressure from the Coalition.

• A Coalition Government will commit to maintaining existing levels of funding for sport and the replacement funding of Maintain the Momentum on a four-year rolling basis.

The announcement of the vote by the International Olympic Committee to grant the right to host the Games of the 27th Olympiad to Sydney is a moment few Australians will forget.

Preparations for the Games have proceeded in a very professional manner under the guidance of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) and with a high level of cooperation between the NSW State Government and the Federal Government. The organisation of the Games is an inspiring venture and the public

interest in every aspect of the build-up is intense.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• ensure that the cooperation which has marked the first two years of preparation for the Games continues by maintaining current funding levels for Olympic preparations;



ensure that the Games run successfully by cooperating with the Australian Olympic Committee, SOCOG and other agencies and organisations involved in organising the event. • ensure that Australia's competitors in the Games are given

every opportunity to succeed and that Sydney's Games are drug-free and "green".


The hosting of the Paralympics in Sydney in 2000 is another great opportunity for disabled Australian athletes to compete and to receive the recognition they deserve in our country. The Liberal and National Parties fully support organisations like the Australian Paralympic

Federation in their efforts to maximise Olympic and sporting participation of people with disabilities.

2. 2000 PLUS

Australia's hosting of the Olympic Games in Sydney will be a significant event in our history, providing the opportunity for both national and international focus on our country and our sports.

It is vital that we harness the benefits flowing from this focus to ensure the ongoing benefit for all Australians well beyond the Olympics and far beyond Sydney.

A Liberal/National Government will create a program "2000 PLUS" to:

• maximise the benefits for other States and Territories, of Sydney hosting the 2000 Games, through the establishment of a high-level Working Party, the location and make-up of which will be determined after consultation with the ASC, the AOC,

the Paralympic Federation and national sporting federations. Olympic and non-Olympic sports and regional representatives will also be on the Working Party;

• examine boosting participation and talent identification for non-Olympic sports in the context of the 2000 Games and beyond.


The Coalition believes that the network which includes state-based

sports institutes and the Australian Institute of Sport should work together in a constructive and co-operative partnership.

The National Elite Sports Council, the forum of all Australian institutes, has the potential to make an enhanced , contribution to ensuring resources from the Federal and State Governments, the private sector and sporting organisations are effectively utilised in the lead-up to the 2000 Olympics. • A Liberal/National Government will recognise and support the

National Elite Sports Council in its operations.

The Liberal and National Parties initiated an Inquiry into the effects of ambush marketing on sponsorship revenue for the Games in Sydney following early indications of serious problems for the organisers, the sponsors, and therefore ultimately the taxpayers.

In February 1995 the Liberal and National Parties publicly announced they would support legislation to provide property rights in the words, expressions and names of bodies associated with the 2000 Games and the Paralympics.

In March 1995 the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs unanimously supported this position.

The Australian Olympic Committee, SOCOG and the previous NSW Government have called for this legislation from the time of the awarding of the Games to Sydney. The Federal Government resisted this legislation and federal departments gave evidence against such

legislation to the Committee.

The Government failed to introduce this legislation in time to make it law in 1995.

This tardiness has created the very real risk of part of SOCOG's $500m marketing revenue target being siphoned off, with the cost being indirectly borne by Australian sport and the taxpayers.


A Liberal/National Government will:

• enact strong and effective Olympic anti-Ambush Marketing legislation in consultation with the Australian Olympic Committee.

Bidding for the hosting of the 2006 Commonwealth Games has commenced.

Australia hosted the Commonwealth Games in Perth in 1962 and in Brisbane in 1982. Most Australians will remember the tremendous benefits in terms of sports and tourism, the Brisbane Games brought to Australia.

The Coalition is very keen to ensure an Australian city wins the right to host these Games in 2006. The decision as to which Australian city will bid for the Games will be made later this year, whilst the overall decision on the hosting of the Games will be made in 1999.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• support the Australian bid to host the 2006 Commonwealth Games and will work in close cooperation with the Australian city which is selected to bid for the right to host the Games;

• pledge the support of the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Sports Commission and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to the bid by the Australian host city and the Australian Commonwealth Games Association.

The Labor Government has exploited the sports industry in its increased sales tax grab.

In 1993, within weeks of returning to power and despite assurances to the contrary, the Labor Government moved to increase sales tax on sporting equipment.


Since August 1993, the Government has increased these hidden taxes

by 23% - a hike of $25 million, and after two separate sales tax increases the Government now extracts $132 million a year from sport. ,

The flow-on to ordinary Australians is significant, making sport more expensive and reducing the opportunity for many people to participate, especially low income earners.

Increasing these taxes also increases the chance of injury by pushing up the price of protective gear like mouthguards, helmets and shoulder pads.

There is great disquiet among the sporting community that they will be the cash cow for another Labor tax grab. Labor's consistent failure to rule out future sales tax rises only heightens this concern.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• not raise existing taxes or.introduce new taxes on sporting • goods.

The Australian Sports Foundation was established to provide tax benefits for people seeking to support sports. The Coalition believes that the operations of the Foundation have become embroiled in some controversy and could work more effectively.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• review the operations of the Foundation in cooperation and consultation with relevant National Sporting Organisations, the Confederation of Australian Sport with a view to making, it more effective;

• improve promotion of the ASF so that all sports maximise the opportunities available to them and their supporters.




In the wake of the landmark 1990 Senate Committee Report on Drugs in Sport, the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) was established to develop a rigorous anti-doping regime in cooperation with the States and Territories and sporting organisations.

ASDA has been pivotal in building an international reputation for excellence in Sports Drug testing and has recently been used as a model for Agencies in other nations.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• ensure ASDA is adequately resourced to enable the Agency to continue and enhance its role in combating use of drugs in sport in Australia and internationally.

• implement the recommendations of ASDA's review of its enabling legislation which calls for: a simplification of the Act; greater protection of the rights of athletes; recognition of the rights of sporting organisations; introduction of measures which reduce the risk of legal challenge on technical grounds;

assurance that the Agency is able to comply with requirements of international sporting federations; a general refinement in •the objects and functions of the Agency;

• support the establishment of an international independent tribunal system to deal with disputes over appropriate penalties for drug use in sport.


ASDA has had an active role in assisting China develop and expand its own agency - the Chinese Olympic Committee Anti-Doping Commission (COCADC).

In October 1994 ASDA and the COCADC signed an anti-doping agreement which encourages an exchange of experts as well as other actions designed to enhance mutual understanding and co-operation, and the practical implementation of stringent anti-doping regimes in

both nations.

The Memorandum of Understanding is "put into operation through the negotiation of an annual protocol that details activities... for the year in v question".


The Coalition regards the commitment to eradicating drugs in sport as


absolutely vital and believes bilateral agreements such as the

Australia-China Anti-Doping Accord are a crucial part of this strategy.

Although the Accord and the relationship that has developed between the agencies in Australia and China is constructive and positive, it is now time for more practical implementation of the spirit of the agreement.

It is vital for athletes, coaches and administrators from both nations to feel confident that when they compete they do so in a spirit that builds friendship between our people through sporting competition that is fair.

This will only occur through mutual determination and practical action.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• fully support the effective implementation of the bilateral agreement, the Australia-China Anti-doping Accord, which will promote co-operation between the drug testing agencies of the two nations;

• immediately negotiate a protocol under the anti -doping agreement to enable exchange of experts for the period up until the arrival of the Olympic teams in Atlanta. Under this protocol:

= The experts - based in the other's country - will have available all facilities required to test for proscribed substances.

= The experts will be able to conduct tests in and out of competition at their discretion. = A number of tests will be specified in the protocol. Any positive tests will be referred to a nominated

independent body for verification. = The effectiveness of the protocol and exchange of experts will be assessed after the Atlanta Games.


The objective of ensuring that international competition and the Sydney Olympics are truly drug free requires a high level commitment from governments and sports officials in all sporting nations.

Although Australia proudly boasts the strictest national anti-doping program, it will be inconsequential if Australian athletes are forced to compete against athletes from nations where drug control and testing is lax or non-existent.


It is therefore imperative that Australia uses all possible measures to

ensure that other nations and international sporting organisations play by the rules.

Acknowledging the importance of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games for Australia, the Coalition recognises its responsibility to activate Australians and the sporting enthusiasts of the world to safeguard the ideals of true and fair sporting competitions despite the emerging threats to those standards of integrity.

A Liberal/National Government will:

• appoint a "Special Envoy for Anti -Doping" in conjunction with the Australian Sports Drug Agency and other Australian advisers including the AOC;

• the Envoy will work ..closely with all relevant sporting and ,government bodies to:

a) facilitate bilateral anti-doping agreements; b) develop anti-doping initiatives; c) consult with international sports officials and agencies.

Printed and authorised by A. Robb, 100 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, VIC