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Coalition bill threatens Olympic training.

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Media Release



Shadow Minister for Sport and Youth Affairs

Shadow Minister Assisting on Information Technology

Senator for the Australian Capital Territory


Coalition bill threatens Olympic training


Hundreds of international athletes planning to use Australian University campuses to train for the Sydney 2000 Olympics may have to find alternative facilities if the Government passes the Higher Education Amendment (VSU) Bill, Shadow Minister for Sport, Senator Kate Lundy, said today.


"Australian University campuses will be used by dozens of countries as training centres prior to the Sydney Olympics. However if the Government passes the VSU Bill, these facilities may no longer be maintained at a standard suitable for Olympic training purposes, Senator Lundy said.


"Australian universities currently provide over $160 million in sporting facilities infrastructure and spend $17 million each year on their maintenance.


"Without the collection of compulsory student amenity fees, these facilities may not be sufficiently maintained and this will have major ramifications in the lead up to Olympics.


"The Coalition think it’s OK for Olympic athletes to use university facilities but they want to stop universities from collecting the fees that maintain them!


"If Minister Kelly wants to ensure that overseas Olympic athletes are provided with the best possible training facilities then she must lobby against the passage of the VSU legislation.


"Universities must continue to collect amenities fees so that the construction and maintenance of sport and recreational facilities continues.


"Ms Kelly must campaign against the VSU bill given that its passage will devastate sport and recreation on University campuses and potentially damage Olympic preparations." Senator Lundy said.


20 April 1999


Contact: Simon Tatz on (02) 6277 3334 or 0418 488 295