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Australian Government announces $13.7 million funding to boost sporting integrity

Australian Government announces $13.7 million funding to boost sporting integrity
December 18, 2020

The Australian Government has announced a $13.7 million funding package to tackle “escalating, rapidly evolving integrity risks, critically including child safeguarding” in Australian sport.

As part of the funding, $10.1 million will be handed to the recently formed Sport Integrity Australia, with the remaining $3.6 million going to the National Sports Tribunal (NST) to extend its pilot program for a further 12 months, until 18th March 2023.

Advising that the commitment will work to strengthen the ability of sporting organisations in Australia to withstand these serious integrity threats, Federal Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck stated “we are providing $10.1 million to Sport Integrity Australia to introduce an independent complaints handling process at all levels, from elite sports to the grassroots level.

“This complaints handling process will be complemented by the independent dispute resolution mechanism provided by the National Sports Tribunal.

“This opt-in model will enhance the protections for Australian sport and the community against evolving integrity issues affecting sport domestically and abroad, including harassment, bullying and child abuse, illicit drugs, manipulating outcomes and code of conduct issues.

“This is an important measure to ensure a high level of independence if and when an inquiry is sought.

“We know how important that can be and will ensure sporting bodies do not become a law unto themselves.

“The Australian Government has developed its National Integrity Framework covering Australia’s 98 National Sporting Organisations.

“This investment in Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal underpins the implementation of this framework and continues the work towards a stronger and fairer sporting sector across Australia.

“Australians should have confidence in the integrity of sport at all levels.

“They should have confidence that integrity matters will be handled both independently and fairly.

“This program is designed to help sports meet those expectations."

Discussing the extension of the NST to March 2023, Senator Colbeck (pictured) said it will offer national level sporting bodies and their participants an opportunity to resolve disputes efficiently and affordably, including through mediation, arbitration, conciliation, and case appraisal.

He added “the Australian Government wants the NST to continue to deliver faster, more cost-effective, independent and transparent sports dispute resolution services.

“This will be particularly important to ensure that disputes that arise under the new National Integrity Framework can be resolved independently and fairly, so that sports, their participants and the Australian community can have confidence in the outcomes.

“We anticipate Australia’s peak sporting bodies, such as the Australian Olympic Committee, Paralympics Australia and Commonwealth Games Australia, will be able to utilise the NST for major future events such as the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

The funding was announced as part of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) of the Australian Government.

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