Wednesday, 4 December 2019
Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019; Second Reading
I rise to speak on the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019. I move:
That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:
"whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House notes that the government's patchy approach to sport continues, with three different ministers having had carriage of sports integrity reforms in just two years, resulting in uncertainty for athletes and other parts of the sport sector in relation to sports integrity reform"
Australia has a long and proud history as a sporting nation. From backyard games to the Boxing Day Test, from grassroots participation to competition on the national and international stage, sport has and continues to play an important role in our way of life and our national identity. Whenever we hear good news stories about sport at any level, those stories enhance the reputation of Australian sport and our love for it. But reports of doping in sport and reports of match fixing damage and devalue Australian sports reputation and our relationship with it.
Labor, when in government, was proactive in deploying measures to protect against those and other threats to the integrity of sport in Australia. We recognised the need to evaluate the effectiveness of Australia's sports integrity measures and to upgrade and update those measures when needed to address changing environments and new threats.
In 2012, the Labor federal government established a National Integrity of Sport Unit, and in 2013 we passed legislation to strengthen the Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority's powers, but threats to the integrity of Australia's sports continue to evolve, and so must our protective measures. In response to those ever-evolving risks, the government announced the review of the sports integrity arrangements in August 2017. The panel that conducted the review was chaired by Justice James Wood, and the review has come to be known as the Wood review.
The government received the Wood review in march 2018 and released its response to the review in February of this year. It is a detailed and extensive review, with nearly 300 pages and containing 52 recommendations. One of those recommendations was the establishment of a national sports integrity commission to cohesively draw together and develop existing sports integrity capabilities, knowledge and expertise and to nationally coordinate all elements of the sports integrity threat response, including prevention, monitoring, detection, investigation and enforcement.
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sports Integrity Australia) Bill 2019 seeks to implement the government's response to that recommendation. The bill would allow a new Australian government agency, to be known as Sport Integrity Australia, designed to protect the integrity of Australian sport. It is proposed that the new agency will bring together a range of sports integrity functions that are currently the responsibility of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the National Integrity of Sport Unit and Sport Australia. To paraphrase from the review, a centrally coordinated response to sports integrity issues will help overcome the silo effect that currently exists, with multiple bodies, including NSOs, law enforcement and regulatory agencies, engaged in protecting sports from threats. The review also noted that difficulties in securing a coordinated response are compounded by our federated system, in which there are differences in state, territory and federal regulatory and criminal laws.
Protecting Australia's sports integrity is a goal that has bipartisan support. Labor intends to continue that bipartisan approach by supporting the establishment of Sport Integrity Australia through these bills. Labor has engaged with stakeholders across the sports sector and taken into account their views on the reforms that would be implemented by this bill and the associated Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Enhancing Australia's Anti-Doping Capability) Bill 2019.
While the majority of feedback has been supportive, some stakeholders have raised specific concerns regarding certain specific aspects of this bill and the enhancing Australia's antidoping capability bill. In relation to this bill, the Scrutiny Of Bills Committee is seeking advice from the Minister for Youth and Sport as to why it is considered appropriate to provide members of the Sport Integrity Australia advisory council with civil immunity so that affected persons have the right to bring action to enforce their legal rights limited to situations where lack of good faith is shown.
The scrutiny committee has also asked for more detailed advice as to why it's considered necessary and appropriate for Sport Integrity Australia to be an enforcement body for the purpose of the Privacy Act 1988. Specifically, the committee has noted that consideration of this aspect of the bill will be helped by further explanation of how Sport Integrity Australia's enforcement related activities will be undertaken in practice, including the nature of the enforcement powers and who will be exercising the enforcement powers.
These scrutiny committee concerns largely mirror the issues that some stakeholders have raised with Labor. Broadly speaking, these concerns are related to appropriate checks and balances ensuring that, in bolstering Australia's defences against sports integrity threats, the rights of individuals are not inappropriately eroded. In recognition of the concerns, the Senate has referred this bill to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for a short inquiry to report on 3 February next year. Labor hopes that process will enable stakeholders that still have concerns to outline these issues and allow them to be appropriately considered before this bill is passed in its final form. The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Enhancing Australia's Anti-Doping Capability) Bill 2019 has been referred for inquiry over the same time frame given its connection with this bill.
Given the great value of sport to Australians and our society and economy, protecting the integrity of Australian sport is something Labor supports. Labor will continue to engage with stakeholders, the government and the crossbench through the community affairs committee inquiry on the establishment of Sport Integrity Australia. We will also continue to work to ensure that government's response to the recommendations of the Wood review effectively protects the important role sport plays in our Australian way of life now and into the future. Labor will support the passage of this bill in this place, noting its referral in the other place to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee. We reserve the right to move amendments to this bill based on the outcomes of that committee inquiry process. Labor supports integrity and truthfulness in sport.
I conclude by correcting the record on the member for Sturt's outrageous previous claim that Don Bradman was from South Australia. Don Bradman was a proud Bowral boy from New South Wales, yet again emphasising the fact that New South Wales is the premier state for sport as it is for all other things! I commend the bill to the House.
The original question was that this bill be now read a second time. To this the honourable member for Shortland has moved as an amendment that all words after 'that' be omitted with a view to substituting other words. The question now is the amendment be agreed to.
As I said in relation to the previous bill, integrity on the sports field is important. As sportspeople we look across the net and expect the person facing us be to playing by the same rules and competing on a fair field—of course, if you're playing against the great Romanian Ilie Nastase it's a bit tricky! Currently, the assurances that this is the case come from an impractically large number of agencies from the ASADA, the National Integrity of Sport Unit in the Department of Health, and the relevant national sports integrity functions of Sport Australia. This bill will make the logical step of establishing Sports Integrity Australia to unite this disparate group.
At the heart of the Wood review was the recommendation accepted by government that a new agency be established to cohesively draw together and develop existing sports integrity capabilities, knowledge and expertise. Commencing from July 2020, Sports Integrity Australia will support all sports integrity stakeholders to manage the spectrum of sports-integrity related issues. Its focus will be on regulation, monitoring and intelligence, and policy and program delivery, including education and outreach.
A version of this bill was introduced into the previous parliament. The election and subsequent need for reintroduction have allowed for additional consultation to be undertaken with stakeholders in both the private and public sectors. Changes to the bill since its first introduction include updates to the object of the act and to the CEO's functions and powers to better reflect the role and remit of the new agency, amendments to provide for better information-sharing by the new agency, and minor and consequential amendments to harmonise operation with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Enhancing Australia's Anti-Doping Capability) Bill 2019.
In February the government committed to the establishment of Sport Integrity Australia in response to the review of Australia's sports integrity arrangements, the Wood review. The Wood review is the most comprehensive examination of sports integrity arrangements ever undertaken in Australia, and it found sports are challenged by a range of mounting integrity threats.
As part of a second tranche of reforms, which are currently under development, Sport Integrity Australia will have an enhanced intelligence and investigations function focusing on a broader range of sport integrity matters, including match fixing. In the interim, Sport Integrity Australia will maintain a close working relationship with the Sports Betting Integrity Unit within the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, a joint initiative of the National Integrity of Sport Unit, the ACIC and Sport Australia. The ability for entities to share information with Sports Integrity Australia and for Sport Integrity Australia to provide, where appropriate, information to relevant entities will be critical to successfully delivering its important function to the Australian community. The legislation has been drafted to allow for this in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles.
The new agency will act as Australia's national antidoping organisation and in time will also act as Australia's national platform for the purposes of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, the Macolin convention, which was signed in January 2019 in a demonstration of this government's commitment to delivering critical sports integrity outcomes without delay.
The government released its response to the Wood review on 12 February 2019, committing to a range of important reforms, including the establishment of Sport Integrity Australia. The government's introduction of this bill is an important signal that this government remains firmly committed to protecting Australian sport from the increasingly sophisticated threats to its integrity. The amendments to the Privacy Act will bring Sport Integrity Australia within the definition of 'enforcement body', enabling stronger information intelligence sharing links with law enforcement agencies, allowing those organisations to disclose information to Sport Integrity Australia if the belief is formed that it would be necessary for the administration of anti-doping related activities.
The amendments to schedule 3 of the FOI Act exempt material from release under section 38 of the act where it is covered by the secrecy provision in the bill. While the FOI Act does provide some protection in relation to the release of material, including an athlete's personal health and medical information, it does not provide the same guarantees as the specific secrecy provisions under the proposed Sport Integrity Australia legislation.
Through this bill and the creation of Sport Integrity Australia, the sporting community will benefit from an organisation that is able to cohesively draw together existing sports integrity capabilities and nationally coordinate all elements of the sports integrity threat response through a single agency. And by the way: Bradman was born in Cootamundra. He played his first cricket in Bowral, and my dad played against him!
It doesn't surprise me that Labor would try to shut down a debate on integrity. Integrity to them is like sunlight to a vampire—run away! This is not your topic; you don't want to face up to it. And I don't know why it is that every time I try to say a nice word about the member for Bennelong they shut me down, particularly on this topic, when it comes to integrity in sport. The member for Bennelong, one of the great athletes—a great Australian athlete, a fair athlete, a man who likes to win, which is why he's a member of the parliamentary Liberal Party!—I pay tribute to him and the contribution he's made to Australian sport and thank him for his contribution. I will just add a few words in the brief time that I now have left.
There's a great amount of logic, of course, in creating a single, unified integrity body to deal with these sport matters, as this bill proposes. I suspect, frankly, that there's going to be a lot more of this, not just in sport but in other areas going forward, particularly in the modern era of the complexity and the spread of data that we've got available and the need to be sharing it much more effectively. It's very important that we have a combined agency that can work with the various codes, with the various sporting administration bodies and, of course, with the various other jurisdictions that have relevant information, to make sure that we keep sport clean and that it maintains, as this agency is focused on, integrity.
We've had a debate just recently about antidoping, and I won't revisit that. But one of the other areas relevant to this measure that I think is very important and concerns me personally—and I'm sure it concerns a lot of people—is making sure that we've got proper regulation around gambling and betting on sport. We all like to put a bit of money on the Melbourne Cup or maybe the AFL grand final, but there's been a pretty disappointing trend in recent times where we've seen some pretty low and petty things being put into the betting markets, and of course that has the serious and significant risk of putting at risk the integrity of some of the sports that are being introduced into the commercial space much more than the amateur space. So, I'm glad that we've got a legitimate entity to oversee these areas, and I think the data sharing that can occur now is very important and is going to mean that people who are doing the wrong thing have a lot more to fear, as they should, because we want to keep sport in this country very, very clean.
I think the other thing that's a good opportunity and outcome of this consolidation is that there are lots of sport codes that are looking for a lot more guidance, help and support from a national body such as this. There's a big difference between the AFL and some of the very small codes that operate particularly in the smaller jurisdictions, and they need guidance and support around integrity, around practices, around disciplinary measures, around education, and around ensuring that the people who participate in their sports—not just the players but also the officials, umpires, referees et cetera—get support in the way in which they're administering their code. Some of these organisations are small organisations. They don't have the ability to engage law firms to give comprehensive advice on dealing with some of the challenges that might come up.
There will also be new issues that develop into the future that we can't even anticipate or predict right now, which is why having this consolidated integrity body that has a remit across a whole range of areas—particularly anti-doping, gambling, betting, general governance and the like—is going to put a lot more robustness around the way in which all of the sporting organisations and entities in this country administer themselves. I think that's a great thing. It is going to ensure the integrity—integrity that is already in place, frankly; I don't think there's a crisis of confidence in the integrity around the sporting codes of our country. There are individual examples that will always come up that are disappointing, but the good thing is that when they come up we find out about them, we discover them, we uncover them and we shine a light on them. We don't sweep them under the carpet or hide them, and we make sure that it is well known that we have absolutely zero tolerance towards bad behaviour across any of those measures in our sporting sector. More importantly, I think this is only going to provide more robustness and give more confidence.
It comes back to the fact—as I mentioned in my previous contribution—that we are a great nation with a great sporting culture but we're also very proud that our sporting culture is clean, that it's fair and that the best person on the day will win the contest. We have to be always vigilant in supporting and defending those principles. That's exactly what this bill does, so I commend it to the House.
What a waste of taxpayers' time for the Labor Party to conduct themselves in this way—disgusting.
I'm here to talk about the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019. It could be said that my electorate of Reid is the heart of sport in Sydney. Reid is home to Sydney Olympic Park, where everyone from the youngest soccer players up to Olympians train and compete. My electorate has hosted the Sydney Olympics, the NRL grand finals, the Invictus Games, the Sydney International tennis tournament, the Australian Masters and a whole range of professional sporting competitions. We've got professional training facilities for swimming, hockey, cricket, tennis, rugby, athletics—and the list goes on. Sydney Olympic Park contributes more than $1 billion to the New South Wales economy each year.
I am passionate about sport and its benefits to all Australians and understand that Australians expect sport to be conducted fairly and under regulated conditions. The establishment of Sport Integrity Australia will consolidate work currently undertaken by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the National Integrity of Sport Unit within the Department of Health and aspects of Sport Australia. Following the Wood review, the Morrison government committed to taking action on a number of recommendations to improve integrity across professional sporting bodies. As part of this response, the government introduced this bill to the House in the previous parliament. With the election delaying this bill, further consultation has been undertaken with stakeholders in the public and private sectors, to enhance how Sport Integrity Australia will be able to work with other government agencies to conduct investigations. Sport Integrity Australia will have the capacity to investigate a range of matters, including doping, match fixing, illegal betting and corruption in sport. Australians hold sport at the centre of our national identity, and this regulatory body will ensure that players are able to participate in fair and equal conditions and spectators are able to respect competitive sport.
I want to take this opportunity to highlight a number of other ways that we support sporting communities in Reid. During the election, the Morrison government committed $5 million towards the establishment of a new home for New South Wales cricket at Sydney Olympic Park, with indoor and outdoor training facilities for all cricketers, from community clubs to professional teams such as the Sydney Sixers. Only a couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of conducting the bat toss at the Women's Big Bash League derby between the Sydney Thunder and the Sydney Sixers at Drummoyne. The new facilities at Sydney Olympic Park will ensure that female cricketers have their own facilities just like the male cricketers have. If we want to drive equality in sport, we need to make sure women at all levels of competition have access to the same facilities as men, and I commend New South Wales cricket for making this a priority.
During the campaign, I also announced funds to support enhanced facilities for Drummoyne Water Polo Club. Located at Drummoyne swimming pool, this club has produced many national and international champions. The Morrison government is also backing in the Wests Tigers, whose home ground at Concord Oval is just up the road from my electorate office. The Tigers are at the heart of our community, and our announcement of $5 million towards the redevelopment of Concord Oval will help more local rugby league players make the jump to a professional club. The redevelopment will include high-performance training and rehabilitation facilities; sports science, medical and conditioning facilities; aquatic recovery and hydrotherapy pools; education facilities, including integrated learning spaces, classrooms and lecture facilities; and multisport community facilities and sport and social spaces.
Professional sport is a great way to connect with the community, and we also announced $1 million for the establishment of a new CUBS program, to connect with multicultural communities in Reid through sport. By encouraging new migrants and isolated communities to engage with sport, we are encouraging greater social cohesion in our area. The Tigers demonstrate that our community expects professional sports men and women to be role models for younger and more vulnerable Australians, and sporting organisations are now taking an active role in ensuring that their clubs and players are good examples for these groups. Across my electorate we have begun work on a number of upgrades to sporting facilities, to encourage more kids and families to get involved in sport. Blair Park, Timbrell Park, Cintra Park, Strathfield Park and Goddard Park have all received funding to benefit sporting clubs such as the Strathfield Strikers, the Concord-Burwood Wolves, the Inner West Netball Association and local school sporting groups.
Any family with a child who plays sport at a competitive level knows how quickly the costs can build up, with equipment, travel, uniforms and registration fees being costly for families.
On a smaller scale, we're supporting some of our youngest high performance athletes through the Local Sporting Champions grants, providing financial assistance for young sporting competitors travelling to compete interstate or overseas. I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our latest sporting champions in Reid. I'd like to acknowledge: James Slade, for his ability in squash; William Slade, also for squash; Cecelia Addabbo, for volleyball; Summer Giddings, for athletics; Lucy Palmer, for volleyball; Lawrence D'Mello, for weightlifting; Rio Agustino, for badminton; Angelina Lee, for flying disc; Angie Le Roux, for athletics; Alex Woolley, for skiing; Charlotte Gates, for water polo; Samuel Vickery, for volleyball; and Nathan Stanmore, for athletics.
Sporting communities at all levels play an important part in keeping Australians healthy, active and connected. Local players look to the professional leagues for role models, and the introduction of Sport Integrity Australia will help to uphold the high standards that Australians have for sports men and women, as well as the teams that they represent. I welcome the introduction of Sport Integrity Australia to strengthen fairness, integrity and equality in all levels of sport in Australia.
I'm tempted to say that the shenanigans of this morning are a bit like John McEnroe throwing down his tennis racquet. You cannot be serious with the behaviour that has been taking place in this chamber. I only have a few moments and I've had to cut down my speech, which was actually going to celebrate many of the sporting triumphs of the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties.
Like many Australians, I like watching elite sport, and I have a particular fondness for watching the Olympic Games. Like many of generation X, I have fond memories of watching Nadia Comaneci in the 1976 Montreal Olympics—the first woman to score a 10 in gymnastics. Of course the Australian swimmers at Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games over the last 50 or 60 years—perhaps even more, but I don't go back that far—have astounded us all with their grace, their speed and their sportsmanship. We also have our fabulous Australian tennis players—and there normally is one who sits behind me, who just happens to be absent for one of the few compliments he's ever going to get from me!
Then of course we also have those tragic memories, those really bad memories of things that have happened at Olympic Games. Who, if they were alive then, can forget the 1988 Seoul Olympics 100-metre final: Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis? Ben Johnson got the gold taken off him. We then had Marion Jones—another awful event with somebody cheating the system.
Australians love to play sport. They love to play sport very hard, but they like to play fair. When people cheat the system, or rort the system, they don't just ruin it for those who have been beaten; they ruin it for everybody. It undermines the integrity of the system. It undermines our culture. It undermines our national identity. So I am very pleased to stand up and support the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Enhancing Australia's Anti-Doping Capability) Bill 2019.
This bill is an outcome of the Turnbull government's commissioning a review looking into Australia's sports integrity arrangements. The Wood review was released in late 2018, and this government responded earlier this year, committing to a range of important reforms, including the establishment of Sport Integrity Australia. The government's introduction of this bill is an important sign that the government remains firmly committed to protecting Australian sport from the increasingly sophisticated threats to its integrity.
Sport Integrity Australia is going to unite existing functions carried out by ASADA and by the National Integrity of Sport Unit in the Department of Health, along with relevant national sports integrity functions of Sports Australia. Commencing from July 2020, Sport Integrity Australia will support all sports integrity stakeholders to manage the spectrum of sport integrity related issues. Its focus is going to be on regulation, on monitoring and intelligence, and on policy and program delivery, including education and outreach. The new agency is going to act as Australia's national antidoping organisation and, in time, will also act as Australia's national platform for the purposes of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competition, which was signed in January 2019, in a demonstration once again of this government's commitment to delivering critical sports integrity outcomes without delay. Through this bill and the creation of Sport Integrity Australia, the sporting community of Australia is going to benefit from an organisation which is able to cohesively draw together existing sports integrity capabilities and nationally coordinate all elements of the sports integrity threat response through a single agency.
This bill reinforces so much of Australia's long-held values about sport—playing hard but playing fair, playing to win but not playing at any cost. This bill, in establishing the Sport Integrity Australia body, is absolutely essential. It's a great step forward to ensure that the integrity in Australian sports remains. Thank you.