The Minister for Sport, Senator Bridget McKenzie, today announced the introduction of the bill into Parliament to establish Sport Integrity Australia: Australia’s first national agency to bring together sports integrity capabilities, knowledge and expertise.
“This bill is taking another step toward delivering the landmark reforms I announced in February in response to the wide ranging Wood Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements,” Minister McKenzie said.
“The creation of Sport Integrity Australia is an important part of our ongoing work to safeguard the integrity of Australian sport.”
Initially, Sport Integrity Australia will bring together the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), the National Integrity of Sport Unit and the sports integrity functions of Sport Australia, establishing a single point of responsibility for the range of sports integrity functions currently performed by these separate agencies. Sport Integrity Australia will become a one-stop shop, engaging with and supporting all sports integrity stakeholders combating all modern threats to the integrity of Australian sport.
Upon establishment Sport Integrity Australia will focus on policy and program delivery, education and outreach, and anti-doping regulation, monitoring and intelligence. This will be followed by the development of the enhanced capabilities outlined under Stage Two of the Government response to the Wood Review, including: improved national collaboration on sports wagering integrity issues and a whistle-blower framework for sport.
Additionally and importantly, the Sports Betting Integrity Unit (SBIU) within the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) will initially continue its vital work to protect Australian sport from criminal influence, match-fixing and related corruption, and to perform the functions of Australia’s ‘National Platform’ for the purposes of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sport Competitions (Macolin Convention). Australia became a signatory to the Macolin Convention on 1 February 2019 – the first non-European country to do so.
In due course, the general functions of the SBIU will transition into Sport Integrity Australia as part of Stage Two of the Government response, with residual specialist sports criminal intelligence capability being retained within the ACIC to complement the work of Sport Integrity Australia.
The introduction of this bill to establish Sport Integrity Australia is in addition to the Government’s introduction of bills to create the National Sports Tribunal to provide faster and more cost effective dispute resolution, and amendments to ASADA to strengthen and streamline the anti-doping regime in Australia.
“Our Government is acting swiftly to keep all involved in sport – whether elite or grassroots – safe and be confident the sports in which they participate are clean and fair,” Minister McKenzie said.
In accordance with the Government Response to the Wood Review, Sport Integrity Australia is expected to commence operations in mid-2020. Prior to the Commencement of Sport Integrity Australia, ASADA, the National Integrity of Sport Unit and Sport Australia will retain their current functions and responsibilities.