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Government to release Crawford Report recommendations?

Government to release Crawford Report recommendations?
November 16, 2009

Recommendations for an immediate 15% cut in Government sporting funding from the independent panel investigating reforms to Australia’s sporting system are among a number of proposals for the future of sports funding that are causing consternation within the Rudd Government.

With other recommendations believed to include withdrawing funding to most Olympic sports within seven years and transferring the Australian Sports Commission into the Department of Health, Rudd Government Ministers are worried that the politically sensitive changes will highlight the Rudd Government’s lack of sporting credentials.

The report from the independent panel investigating reforms to Australia’s sporting system, chaired by David Crawford, began in August 2008 and was completed in September. Originally scheduled for release in May, and then August, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Sport Minister Kate Ellis has indicated that the report “would be made public next week.”

Concerned at senior sports administrators expressing concern at reduced sporting funding and the likely public and media backlash from a decline in sporting success, some of the report’s original recommendations are understood to have been watered down in recent weeks.

This week, Perry Crosswhite, Chief Executive of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association stated “the greatest issue facing those involved in high performance sport in Australia is the uncertainty about future levels of support for Australia’s national and international level athletes.”

Early indications of Federal Government’s change of emphasis in sport funding objectives were given by Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chief Executive Matt Miller at the Sports Business World conference in Sydney in early September. Miller suggested that “sport needs to be less reliant on Government funding,” adding that the ASC was looking to revisit the market orientated approach to the development of the sports industry as outlined in the 1999 strategy End Goal: Moving the Sport and Recreation Industry to a Higher Growth Path.

Miller also indicated that the ASC would be looking for sports to “shift from governance issues to a focus on the market.”


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