Thursday, 4 April 2019
Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Amendment Bill 2018; Second Reading
I present the explanatory memorandum to this bill and move:
That this bill be now read a second time.
The purpose of the Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Amendment Bill is to protect sponsorship and licensing revenue from the International Cricket Council T20 World Cup, to be held in 2020, from being undermined by ambush marketing, which is the unauthorised commercial use of event indicia—or expressions—and images. This will be achieved by including the T20 World Cup as a recognised major sporting event under the Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Act. The bill also takes the opportunity to remove schedules relating to historical sporting events that are no longer providing protections under the act, being the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup of 2015 and the ICC Cricket World Cup of 2015.
The bill is consistent with the approach the Australian government took when it legislated to protect the indicia and images of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup of 2015, the ICC World Cup in 2015, the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. It also meets a commitment by the Australian government to provide such intellectual property rights protection for the T20 World Cup.
Hosting the T20 World Cup in Australia provides a unique opportunity to showcase our country to the world from a tourism, trade and event-delivery perspective. Event owners and organisers like those for the T20 World Cup rely heavily on revenue generated by television rights, ticket sales, sponsorship and licensing to ensure their event can be delivered and continues to be an attractive and viable financial proposition to future host countries. It's this profile and these commercial realities that necessitate the sorts of protections that are proposed for the T20 World Cup in this bill.
The bill will protect the use of a range of expressions and images associated with the T20 World Cup in the aim to prevent an unauthorised user from applying those indicia and images to suggest a formal association with the T20 World Cup. The act, known as 'ambush marketing by association', has the capacity to diminish the value of sponsorship, reduce the incentive for organisations to enter into commercial arrangements with events, and reduce the overall event revenue. In turn, this has the ability to increase the financial impact on government to support such events.
While it's important to protect the T20 World Cup sponsors from ambush marketing, the rights of the community to freedom of expression must also be respected, particularly in relation to words that have passed into common usage. A pragmatic approach has been taken, with generic words and references excluded from the list of protected expressions. In line with the Australian government's deregulation agenda, the bill is not intended to increase the burden on businesses or affect their everyday operations. The bill fully protects the rights of the existing holders to use T20 World Cup indicia and images to carry out their business functions.
The T20 World Cup schedule proposed in the bill will cease to have effect after 30 November 2021, approximately one year after the completion of the event. This is consistent with other major sporting events protected by the act. I thank the members for their contributions to the debate on this bill.
I take this opportunity to speak on the Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Amendment Bill 2018. Can I say from the outset that I'm somewhat surprised that it has taken this long to get this legislation into the House, given that there is some urgency to it. We have to have the legislation in place and then, in turn, rely on many of the state governments to enact complementary legislation to achieve the objectives of the bill. Given that the legislation was first brought into the Senate, I believe, in December 2018, I would have thought that the legislation would be before us a little earlier. Nevertheless, here we are, on possibly the very last day of sitting of this parliament, dealing with this legislation. It's important that we get it through the House today.
Labor supports this bill, which, as the Minister for Energy said a moment ago, amends the Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Act 2014. That act is out of date and refers to past events; therefore, if we want the act to be relevant to future events, it has to be appropriately amended. This amendment bill updates the act so that it refers to upcoming major sporting events; specifically, the International Cricket Council T20 World Cup cricket tournament, which includes both the men's and the women's tournaments. It's to be held in Australia in 2020. The amendments in the bill will make the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 a major sporting event under the act. They also insert information required to protect related intellectual property, such as the event's name, logo, branding and similar things. Furthermore, the amendments set the period of protection—again, as the minister said a moment ago—to end on 30 November 2021.
The protections provided by these amendments are standard and necessary for major sporting events hosted in Australia and mirror protections provided under the act for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games only last year. The ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Local Organising Committee hopes this bill can pass the parliament as soon as possible. As I said at the outset, that's because we want to ensure the amendments to the act become effective at least one year prior to the ICC Women's T20 World Cup, which will be held in February and March of next year. That, effectively, is just under a year away.
Labor understands that these protections will be complemented by equivalent protections against ambush marketing—which the minister alluded to in his opening remarks—that will be introduced by the governments of states and territories that will be hosting the matches in the year 2020. It's important for those pieces of legislation also to go through the parliaments of the state jurisdictions.
National and international sport is big business. It generates big dollars for a lot of entities. However, it is costly to stage, and sponsors rely on exclusive rights to the use of logos and images for the products which they then market in order to recoup their sponsorship costs. Those rights need to be protected, and they need to be protected by law. That is the purpose of this bill—to endeavour to do that. I'm aware that in past events where there have been products sold and logos used there have been those who have sought to capitalise on those products by providing counterfeit products. Having legislation such as this provides certainty to the organisers and sponsors and, in turn, ensures that the event will proceed. Of course, if the event proceeds then that is good for Australia's cricket fans—in this case—who have the opportunity to see the world's best cricketers in action here in Australia. It's also good for Australia, because the Australian economy will benefit from both the tourism generated and the turnover of products that are made and sold.
International events provide Australia with international exposure to the rest of the world through the television screening of those events, and that in itself is one of the best ways we can promote Australia as a tourism destination. I'm aware that, through many such events, tourism to Australia has increased. Earlier this year we had, as we have now had for many years, the Tour Down Under in South Australia. It's considered an international event. It not only brings people into Australia—and into South Australia in particular—from around the world; over the week of the tournament it also is televised in so many countries across the world, which in turn provides South Australia with a wonderful opportunity to promote itself on the world stage. And, indeed, we have much in Australia to promote. So, whilst we have our tourism industry doing that each and every day, I see international sporting events as one of the ways of doing that in an indirect but very effective manner.
Australia is a sporting nation, and I think the fact that Australia is a sporting nation is one of our strengths. Over the years we have not only produced some of the best sportspeople in the world in this country; more importantly, this has also done two things that I just want to briefly touch on. International sports provide inspiration and opportunity for young people in this country in a way that few other things do. Madam Deputy Speaker Claydon, from your own work as a member of parliament, you would be aware of the sporting people in your community and the grants that are provided to them to enable them to compete in state, national and international events. It is through those grants that I see so many young people having the opportunity to pursue something that they want to do. In many cases, I have seen young people from my own community going the whole way and ending up representing Australia. I believe that that all starts when those young people get to see an international event in progress. They, too, can dream of one day being the person out there on the field playing the sport. Continuing to support our children through those grants and also providing them with the opportunity to see the best in the world in front of them is, I think, one of the most inspiring things we can do for them. For many of them, that would not be possible if the events were not held here in Australia, and that would not be possible if the promoters and organisers of those events were not protected through legislation such as this.
The other matter that I want to address is particularly relevant, given what happened in New Zealand in recent times. It is that sport in this country has brought people together in a way that nothing else has. I have seen people come together on the sporting field and support one another regardless of their race, their colour, their nationality or their religion, even when they are playing on opposing teams. I believe it has been one of the terrific ways that the barriers for people in this country have broken down. It's a prime example of why it makes sense to support our sporting communities out there.
In my own electorate I regularly visit sporting communities and sporting events of all persuasions. I'm sure that my electorate simply reflects what is happening right around the country. There is a terrific effort being made by all the volunteers, supporters and parents who make all of that possible. Quite often they do so week in, week out on a purely voluntary basis with very little financial support from anywhere else. I'll be attending a sporting presentation this coming Saturday night for a local cricket team, as I will be in two weeks time for another cricket team. That just highlights the importance of sports within our community. It also highlights, in my mind, that cricket, which this particular legislation is focusing on, is one of the sports that, in this country, has now become a national sport. In our summer months particularly, I rarely go anywhere without seeing a TV screen showing international cricket, or I am a cricket match myself. Cricket and Australian Rules football are, respectively, perhaps the two most dominant sports in winter and summer. This country can be proud of what it has managed to do because of its support for those sports.
The last thing I want to mention is that on the weekend just passed the Australian national women's football league, the AFL Women's, played its grand final in Adelaide. The match was between the women's Crows team and the women's Carlton team. The Crows won and I take this opportunity to congratulate them, and in particular the captain, Erin Phillips, who led the side and has been a magnificent player for them throughout. Unfortunately, Erin was injured in the game, but nevertheless was able to come back at the end of the game to at least acknowledge the win. I congratulate not only the women's Crows team for their splendid effort on Sunday but also Erin for her leadership of the team. My commiserations to Carlton, who I believe put up a really good effort in competing on the day, but obviously only one team can win. The last thing I will say about that game is this: women's football has sometimes not been supported in the same way as men's football, and it's suggested that women's football is perhaps not of a standard and not equivalent to men's football. To anyone who believes that, can I say that they ought to go along to watch a women's league game. It was a spectacular game. To the people around Australia I say this also: it was absolutely wonderful to see Adelaide Oval absolutely full to the rim with followers and spectators. I think it surprised most people that we would get a capacity crowd, but we did. I think that is testament to the quality of the football being played and also, again, to the sporting culture we have in this country, which is something that I'm proud of and something that we should try to protect for as long as we can, because I think it is one of the great assets of Australian life.
I congratulate the member for Makin and wholly concur with his comments regarding women's AFL. It's a fantastic sport—very competitive—and it is wonderful to see the athleticism and talent of so many young women throughout Australia. It is now being mirrored in the great sport of rugby league, as well, which is fantastic to see. Australians love their sport. We love playing sport, we love watching sport and we love reliving it often. The Monday morning coaches and stories about how a team fared on the weekend—what went wrong, how you would have done better—are folklore in Australian workplaces and homes throughout the country. Increasingly, like all aspects of society, with social media and new digital platforms developing we're seeing more and more chances for images and photographs of people participating in sport to spread throughout not only the internet but other platforms as well. We have a recent example of this with the controversy—highly unwarranted—that was created in respect of the image of Tayla Harris kicking that fantastic goal during the AFLW season. What a photograph! It captured one of Australian sport's most iconic moments. It was a tribute to her and her teammates' athleticism, a tribute to the AFL and to that particular sport and to the promotion of women's involvement in sport. We all know, unfortunately, the controversy that surrounded it. But I think the important thing to remember is that at the end of the day Channel Seven put that photo back up on their website because of the public reaction—because of the reaction of the Australian people about their love for that image and all that it purveyed about women's sport and athleticism. It highlights the importance of ensuring that we're protecting major sporting events' indicia and images, including certain photographs, in the future.
This is a bill which amends the Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Act 2014. This act is out of date and refers to past events, so this is really about updating that particular act. This amendment bill updates the act so that it refers to upcoming major sporting events, specifically the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 cricket tournament, comprising both the men's and the women's tournaments, to be held in Australia in 2020. The amendments make the ICC T20 World Cup a major sporting event under the act, insert information required to protect related intellectual property such as the event's name, the logo, the branding and similar things, and set the period of protection. The protections provided by these amendments are standard and necessary for major sporting events hosted in Australia and mirror the major protections provided under the act for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year, both of which were sensational sporting events. They brought a lot of tourism and benefit for the Australian economy and Australian society.
The ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Local Organising Committee hopes that this bill can pass the parliament as soon as possible to ensure the amendments to the act become effective at least one year prior to the women's T20 World Cup, which will be held from February next year. Labor understands that these protections will be complemented by equivalent protections against ambush marketing, to be introduced by the government of various states and territories that will be hosting the matches in 2020.
This is a reform that is required. It's certainly something that the industry has requested. It's good to see that the government has acted on this. Labor certainly supports this reform. I'm sure that, when these events are held in Australia, we're going to see, both in the men's and the women's categories, some exceptional sporting achievements, and it's appropriate that the images, logos and indicia that are associated with these sporting events are protected, and that is what this bill will do.
It would be no surprise to the member for Newcastle, sitting in the chair this afternoon, that word went around the building that there was an opportunity to speak on sport, and Joanne Ryan, the member for Lalor, raced to the chamber to prepare some notes and talk about sport, and particularly women's sport. We're talking about the Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Amendment Bill 2018 which has, as the member for Makin pointed out, been brought into the chamber at the last minute. I feel it is important to note the tardiness of putting this bill in place, with the extrapolated risks for the international event, the ICC T20 World Cup cricket tournament, to be held in Australia in 2020. Obviously, getting the bill passed today is fairly important to ensure that the indicia and images are protected during this event. There are 12 months leading up to this event, which is why this bill's before us today.
I concur with the member for Kingsford Smith and the member for Makin on the importance of sport in Australian culture—the pleasure and joy it brings to us, and also the way it builds into us our competitive nature, our push to want to be the best that we can be in all aspects of life, which is often learned on our local sporting fields or courts around the nation when we are very young children. We need to note that Australia has been successful in bringing the ICC T20 World Cup to Australia for 2020 and celebrate the fact that this is now a major international event that includes not just men's cricket but, of course, women's cricket. I want to give a big shout-out to Meg Lanning, the current Australian captain. Hopefully, Meg will be fit and firing and leading the Australian T20 team.
I was just listening to the member for Lalor's remarks and was wondering if she could expand on her views in relation to women's sport, outline some of her favourite sporting images which she would be hoping would be protected by this bill and, finally, if she could, explain to the House the difference between indicia and images. A quick Google search suggests that there is some disagreement as to whether indicia is in fact a plural or singular word and what the difference between the two may mean.
I am happy to take that intervention. As the member for Bruce outlined, we were doing some research here on the word 'indicia'. As a former English teacher I found it a shock that I had never seen this word before. For those listening at home, in one section of a definition we found that it was a formal singular noun and in another section we found that it was a formal plural noun—which of course fascinated us both. For those playing along at home, it means signs, indications or distinguishing marks, and therefore requires images to be attached, because it is also, obviously, about logos, branding and those sorts of things.
The reason that the legislation is before us today is to ensure that 12 months out from an event the event can give a guarantee to those private businesses that might be joining the entity in promoting the event and in attracting large crowds—which shouldn't be difficult in Australia. I do hope, as the member for Bruce said in his intervention, that we get some great-quality images used under the protection of this bill of female sporting heroes. I would hope that we can get some fabulous images of Australian female cricketers in their most recent successes. They are, of course, the pride of Australian cricket at the moment, and I'm sure the International Cricket Council would agree with me that it would probably be appropriate to ensure that images of some women holding up a bat or making that lunging stride and sliding that bat in to make an extra run would be important to share.
Yes, there are many members of the House who would like to see that. It is important that this bill be passed today. Labor supports this bill being passed today. I would hope that, if given the opportunity of government, a Labor government into the future would ensure that the legislation required for the Matildas FIFA Women's World Cup soccer, which we are hoping to attract to the country in 2022, and the Netball World Cup, which we are hoping to attract to Australia in 2027, will have the legislation passed in a more timely manner to ensure that images of our great female athletes in this country and around the world are able to be protected under legislation of this kind.
I agree with those opposite that this legislation is necessary. Labor supports this legislation. We want to see this legislation passed in a timely way to allow that 12-month protection before the tournament arrives. We want to ensure that the tournament attracts the kind of investment that it requires. We want to ensure that we get a top-quality event happening in Australia to further enhance our reputation worldwide as being the sporting capital of the world. That reputation is broadening from sport to sport but, most importantly, that reputation is now going around the world and is not just limited to men's sport but includes women's team sports as well, which is also so critical. It is an absolute pleasure to be in the chamber today to hear the word 'sport' being said so regularly by various members in the chamber.
The people in my electorate are incredibly passionate about their sport. The member for Makin mentioned the AFLW final. I was fortunate enough to be at the Werribee Football Club Avalon oval to watch the Adelaide Crows women's team play North Melbourne in the conference rounds, and to be up close and personal to those girls playing our great game of football was amazing—to see the progression over two years, in terms of the talent, the play and the speed at which they moved the ball was incredibly impressive. I was not surprised to see the Adelaide team come out victorious on the weekend.
I had the pleasure, as I tweeted on the day, of watching a plethora of women's sport in my lounge room as I sat and took a couple of hours out. On my television, on the big screen, I had the AFLW final, but of course Bendigo on the weekend was home to a four-way netball preseason tournament where the Vixens were playing the Magpies at the same time as the AFLW grand final, so I had both happening. On my iPad I had the Vixens playing the Magpies—and of course it would be terrible if I forgot to mention that the Vixens beat the Magpies on the weekend in Bendigo!—and on the large screen I had the AFLW.
It was wonderful to hear so many female voices coming from both my iPad and the television. As a woman who lives with four blokes—three sons and a partner—it was terrific to be in my lounge room surrounded by female commentators, commentating both sports, and watching women, our elite athletes, at their very, very best, in intense competition for balls of both shapes. We had the round ball happening, obviously, on the netball court, and of course we had the oval ball being chased around Adelaide Oval.
So I look forward to the T20 World Cup. I can't promise I'll watch any of the men's cricket in that tournament, but I'll be glued to my television set, or watching live somewhere around the country, watching our great Australian women's cricketers compete on the world stage. Of course, Australia will be hoping that we'll take out both crowns, as is our usual prediction—we always predict we're going to win. We push our teams into a corner so that they have to deliver on our wish. And hopefully the T20 2020 major sporting event, as it will be now known under the act, will see Australia successful again.
I'm pleased to stand to speak on the Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Amendment Bill 2018. As someone who grew up playing sport, a lot of it at Baker Park in Wyong, I'm very pleased to speak on this today, as a netballer and as someone who knows what grassroots sport really means to local communities.
I'm so pleased to be the patron of the Wyong District Netball Association. The association will have their march-past this Saturday. The march-past is the annual event where all of the clubs in the Wyong District Netball Association come together to launch our season. I'm very pleased, as patron, to be able to be joining that event on Saturday.
In terms of regional sport, I would also like to mention the Central Coast Heart. The Central Coast Heart are the only regional netball team in the Netball New South Wales Premier League. The Netball New South Wales Premier League is a very competitive competition, and it's a pathway for our athletes to be able to then compete at elite levels of netball, nationally and hopefully internationally. I'm pleased to let the house know that the Central Coast Heart last year won the Netball New South Wales Premier League, and our captain, Amy Wild, was announced player of the series, and one of our coaches, Amber, is now a coach at a New South Wales level. I think what this demonstrates is that, if we have pathways to sports in regional communities, we have the opportunity for young women to be able to go on to represent us at a state, national and international level.
I thank all speakers for their contributions. The purpose of the Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Amendment Bill 2018 is to protect sponsorship and licensing revenue from the International Cricket Council T20 World Cup 2020 from being undermined and ambushed in its marketing campaign. The T20 World Cup will be recognised as a major sporting event under the Major Sporting Events (Indicia and Images) Protection Act 2014. I thank all members for their contributions to the debate on this bill.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.