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Victorian law to uphold integrity of boxing and combat sports

September 5, 2013

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty have this week announced the introduction of legislation to uphold the integrity of Victoria's professional boxing and combat sports industry.

The Professional Boxing and Combat Sports Amendment Bill 2013 responds to concerns that people of questionable character can enter the industry unchallenged.

Explaining the introduction of the legislation to the Victorian Parliament, Dr Napthine stated "the fundamental change proposed in the Bill is to give the Professional Boxing and Combat Sports Board scope to consider whether a person is 'fit and proper' to hold a licence.

"The Bill also allows for the Board to assess whether or not it is in the public interest for a person to hold a licence.

"This is an important shift from current arrangements. Currently, the Board has no choice but to issue a licence to a person who can demonstrate they have the knowledge and skills to run a boxing or combat sports contest, no matter what that person's character and reputation may be."

The proposed changes include:

Probity checks for promoters, matchmakers, referees, judges, trainers and timekeepers;

Automatic bans for people from holding a professional boxing and combat sports licence based on specific criteria; and

The ability for the Board to obtain advice from Victoria Police on the probity of applicants and licence holders.

Minister Delahunty added that, just as with all sports, the Victorian Government wanted all licensed participants in the professional boxing and combat sports sector to be of good character and reputation.

Minister Delahunty stated "it is important that the Board has the regulatory powers to make licensing decisions that are in step with community expectations.

"I commend Victoria Police and the Professional Boxing and Combat Sports Board in particular for their hard work and assistance in developing these changes.

"Both organisations have played an integral role in ensuring these sports meet community expectations."

The Professional Boxing and Combat Sports Amendment Bill 2013 will soon be available to read at


http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au

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