Sport Australia has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie of the establishment of the new national sports integrity agency, Sport Integrity Australia.
Safeguarding the integrity of sport is one of the four key pillars of the National Sport Plan – Sport 2030, and Sport Australia Chair John Wylie said these whole-of-sport reforms represent a strong, single focus.
“We welcome this concerted, one-stop-shop approach and acknowledge the work conducted by James Wood AO QC and the Sports Integrity Panel” said Wylie.
“The establishment of Sport Integrity Australia and the reforms announced by the Federal Government today will help protect Australians participating in sport from grassroots to high performance.
“This will complement the work of Sport Australia. A fair, clean and safe system starts at the local sports club and sporting organisation. The work we are doing in partnership with our national sporting organisations focuses on leadership, culture and governance – key factors in ensuring the integrity of our sports system for our young, community based athletes and for our sporting heroes.”
Wylie also welcomed the commitment by the Government to pilot a National Sports Tribunal to hear anti-doping violations, along with other disputes.
“The Australian Institute of Sport invests in high performance athletes who deserve to compete knowing their sport is clean and fair,” he said. “The ability of the Tribunal to gather evidence to ensure natural justice is crucial.”
Sport Australia will work closely with the Government as the span and scope of Sport Integrity Australia is developed. Sport Australia will maintain its focus on the importance of the work being undertaken as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse recommendations, the National Redress Scheme and providing sports at all levels with advocacy and advice.
Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer said the organisation would work to assist in the establishment of the new agency.
“Our integrity focus remains firmly on safe, healthy and accessible sport and physical activity opportunities for all Australians,” Palmer said.
“We know the significant contribution sport makes to all of our lives and the new measures announced by Minister McKenzie today send a strong message to ensure Australians can play sport safely and fairly.
“We’ll continue to work in the key areas of child safe and inclusive sport, to ensure national sport organisations have the tools and knowledge to create safe and ethical sporting environments.”