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Australian Sports Commission issues statement in response to media claims on spending

Australian Sports Commission issues statement in response to media claims on spending
February 14, 2020

The Australian Sports Commission has responded to claims of extravagent spending, initially made in The Australian newspaper, releasing a statement that emphasises its investment in sport.

While not addressing the claims about spending on consultants, training and consultants, the statement does point out how the Federal Government agency's its staff complement has shrunk in recent years.

Using its official title, rather than its current Sport Australia brand, the statement reads:

The Australian Sports Commission makes the following comment in relation to (the) media.

The ASC is the largest investor in Australia’s Olympic and Paralympic campaigns by a very large margin.

Over the past four years, we have proudly invested more than $500 million in preparing our athletes and teams for the upcoming 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Investing in our Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games sports and athletes is by far the largest allocation of our annual budget.

While we are very strong supporters of Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games sports, this is far from the only thing we do.

Under our Act, the ASC has a broad mission and mandate to promote and invest in sport and physical activity across Australia.

We invest in a wide range of programs, including:

• Sports participation programs around the country
• Improved physical movement and skills for Australian children and teens
• Improved opportunities for women and girls in sport
• Professional development of sports administrators, coaches and high performance staff
• Community awareness of the importance of physical fitness and wellbeing

The modernisation and reform of traditional governance structures in Australian sporting organisations.

These are investments in national long term health and wellbeing. They’re also the foundation of success for tomorrow’s Olympians and Paralympians, not just today’s.

We are conscious that our funding is public money and endeavour to be prudent with it. As noted in the ASC Annual Report for 2018/19, in the past seven years the Average Staffing Level at the ASC has been reduced from 790 to 444 - a 44% reduction. At the same time, high performance grants to sports have increased from $106 million to $147 million.

We continually look for opportunities for further operational cost savings within our organisation, but believe they are relatively small in the context of the broader funding challenge that we face, after numerous years of reduced long term base Budget appropriation, to keep providing the service that we do for Australian sport.

The ASC believes the AIS campus in Canberra needs a redevelopment after 40 years of service to Australian sport, and is currently pursuing a project to that effect with the Australian Government.

We’re proud of the role we play for sport and physical activity at all levels in our country.

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