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Federal Sports Minister suggests new lottery to fund national sports plan

Federal Sports Minister suggests new lottery to fund national sports plan
May 22, 2017

The Australian Government has released details of a national sports plan, central to which is an idea to implement a lottery for funding sporting programs at all levels.

A central part of the ‘National Plan for Elite Sport and Participation’ unveiled by Federal Sports Minister Greg Hunt in Canberra today, the lottery funding model has been inspired by examples around the world.

The consultative plan which is to go through a period of public consultation until the end of July, aims to be the basis of “a long-term strategy for the whole of sport”, covers participation, performance, prevention through physical activity, and integrity. It also includes plans for an independent sports tribunal for handling grievances and disputes.

Planned to be in operation by 1st July next year, the Federal Government hopes the lottery will generate around $50 million a year for sport.

The lottery will be developed with the states and will also be shaped by engaging with major sporting events, sports infrastructure, sport governance and funding.

A statement released by Minister Hunt (pictured above) explained “throughout this process key stakeholders will work closely with the Government, including the states and territories, the Australian Sports Commission and their respective sports, the Australian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Australia.

“The Commonwealth makes a significant contribution to Australian sport and the Plan will help to inform clear policy objectives across the entire sector.

“Participating in sport also makes us healthier both physically and mentally and it is the basis for so many friendships.

“Being physically active also reduces our risks for many diseases including heart disease and type two diabetes.”

The plan is open for public submissions until 31st July, and Minister Hunt promised key stakeholders - including the states and territories, the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and their respective sports, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Paralympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Australia - would be consulted.

Minister Hunt said it was seeking to understand Australia’s expectations of the sports sector through the creation of a national plan.

He added “the question of funding is always important.

“This plan will consider, with a strong bias towards support, a national sports lottery. There are great examples around the world, most notably the UK, of funding on a secure basis coming from a national sports lottery.”

When asked if a lottery would add to Australia’s gambling problem, Minister Hunt again highlighted the example of the UK, stating “the way this works is this is a public-good lottery and that concept is something that is well accepted.

“We see in Western Australia a public-good lottery, we see in the United Kingdom public-good lotteries.”

Hunt said the lottery would be in addition to and have no impact on the level of Federal Government funding for sport.

Contributions and ideas are due by 31st July 2017.

Further details on the Plan, including options for submitting views, are available at www.ausport.gov.au/nationalsportsplan

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