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Combat Sports to face new legislation in WA

October 16, 2009
The Western Australia Parliament is to consider significant changes to the legislation governing the combat sports industry.
Introducing the changes to Parliament, WA Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron explained "while the government acknowledges that the majority of combat sports contests in our state are approved and safely run, there are a small minority of events that cause concern and threaten to give the combat sports industry a bad name."
The changes to the Professional Combat Sports Act (1987) aim to improve the control measures of contest events and increased the health and safety of all participants, from amateur to professional level. These apply to sports such as karate, boxing, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu and judo.
A key amendment to the Act would ensure it applies to all levels of the industry, as previously it applied only to the âprofessionalâ aspect.
The Minister would have a clearly defined function in the approval of rules for contests and the term âcontestâ will now relate to all combat sports contests, previously it applied only to professional bouts for those aged over 18.
There will also be increased penalties for offences breaching the Act.
Regulations are now being reviewed to ensure the appropriate level of community compliance so the new legislation can be achieved.
Changes to the legislation were sparked by a review of the combat sports industry in 2006, where concerns were raised by both industry representatives and members of the commission regarding the safety involved in some amateur events being run and of inappropriate conduct.
Minister Waldron added "some of the concerns raised during the review process included having no medical practitioner on site, a lack of rules and inexperienced officials at non-sanctioned bouts, all of which are a great risk to the safety of those participating in such competitions.
âThe legislation will provide greater protection and assurance to all participants, ensuring they are competing in the safest environment possible.�?

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