Wednesday, 4 December 2019
Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019; Third Reading
One of the greatest things that we as local MPs see is the joy on the faces of young people as we give out certificates for those young people and their teams who've got Local Sporting Champions funding. It's a great bipartisan program supported by Labor—and when we were in government we initiated it—and supported by the coalition now. To see the joy in those young girls from Ipswich Force basketball team or in young athletes who have been swimmers as well as taekwondo experts—the young lads from Toogoolawah. It's always been fantastic.
One of the things that really frustrates young people who expect clean, fair sport is when they are disillusioned by their sporting champions. So integrity in sport is absolutely crucial. Think of examples in world sport, for example, when a goalkeeper in a football match in a premier league deliberately lets the ball go into the goal. Think of a cricketer playing, maybe on the subcontinent, in Australia or in South Africa—an elite athlete—who lets the ball hit the stumps or the pads deliberately to make sure that certain people will win a bet. Think of, for example, a champion cyclist like Lance Armstrong and the way he was revered around the world by so many people only for them to find out that he had cheated his way to success.
This sort of legislation is really important—that's why Labor supports it—to make sure there's integrity in sport; to make sure that those young people that we see who are local sporting champions can grow up and participate in sport at all levels, to represent our cities and to represent our states in national competitions; to make sure they play in fair competitions where there is no doping or cheating; and to make sure that they get a fair go and achieve all they want to achieve in their lives. That's why this sort of legislation is really important.