House debates

Thursday, 10 December 2020


Sport Integrity Australia Amendment (World Anti-Doping Code Review) Bill 2020; Second Reading

12:18 pm

Photo of Pat ConroyPat Conroy (Shortland, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to speak on the Sport Integrity Australia Amendment (World Anti-Doping Code Review) Bill 2020. 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:

(1) notes the high standards of integrity expected of Australian athletes and sports organisations, and supports the changes in this bill to align Australia's anti-doping legislation with global standards; and

(2) calls on the Government to hold themselves to the same high standards of integrity and do what the Prime Minister and Treasurer said they would do—fund the projects recommended by Sport Australia under the Community Sport Infrastructure grants program".

This bill seeks to amend the Sport Integrity Australia Act 2020 and the National Sports Tribunal Act 2019. Australia has ratified the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport. This means we have an international obligation to align our antidoping arrangements with any revisions of the WADA code, the World Anti-Doping Code. This bill seeks to ensure that Australia's antidoping legislation is aligned with recent revisions to the World Anti-Doping Code, international standards which come into force on 1 January 2021. Labor supports Australia being at the forefront of global efforts to deal with doping in sport. In turn, we support Australia fulfilling its international antidoping obligations. Therefore we support these amendments, which will ensure our domestic antidoping arrangements remain aligned with the WADA code.

This bill does three key things in response to the WADA code revisions. It adds relevant nonparticipants to the persons who may be subject to the National Anti-Doping scheme. It gives the CEO of Sport Integrity Australia discretion not to publish details of an antidoping rule violation when the athlete is recreational or does not have the mental capacity to understand the antidoping rules. And it allows the CEO to respond to misinformation. This bill also makes consequential amendments to the National Sports Tribunal Act 2019 to enable a nonparticipant to apply to the tribunal for arbitration of a dispute arising under an antidoping policy. These measures all respond to the WADA code revisions.

Beyond that response, the bill also seeks to extend the definition of 'athlete' to include persons who competed in sport within the last six months. That measure is designed to deal with the potential for the current definition to be interpreted narrowly as only a person who currently competes. Sport Integrity Australia believes that a narrow interpretation could restrict its ability to investigate possible antidoping rule violations. Initially stakeholders, including the Australian Athletes Alliance, raised concerns with the opposition about the potential for this measure to impact retired athletes. Labor has worked with these stakeholders to seek clarification on that aspect of the bill. The government has since made it clear that the measure does not apply to formally retired athletes but instead to athletes who for some reason, perhaps injury, are on a short break from competing. Athletes who intend to compete again remain within the National Anti-Doping scheme to ensure they continue to be compliant with their obligations under the World Anti-Doping Code on their return to competition. The same stakeholders that raised concerns have advised the opposition that, given the clarification, they now believe this aspect of the bill is appropriate.

Labor supports measures that strengthen Australia's protections against evolving threats to the integrity of sport. We recognise that these protections, particularly in relation to doping in sport, can place a large burden and a lot of pressure on athletes. We will continue to work closely with stakeholders and to monitor the implementation of Australia's new sports integrity operations to ensure they deliver the dual goals of protecting Australian sport and protecting Australian athletes. Labor supports the bill. Given this bill's focus on integrity in sport, I have moved a second reading amendment noting the high standards of integrity expected of Australian athletes and sport organisations and calling on the government to hold themselves to the same high standards of integrity by funding the projects recommended by Sport Australia under the Community Sport Infrastructure Grants Program.

The sports rorts affair is notorious for the complete lack of integrity by ministers in the administration of grants to Australian sporting organisations. The government has introduced this bill to ensure Australian athletes adhere to the highest standards of conduct on the sporting field, but, when it comes to integrity in sports grants administration, this government has set an appalling example. The government acted with a complete lack of integrity around the $100 million Community Sport Infrastructure Grants Program and the $150 million Female Facilities and Water Safety Stream program. The government rorted these programs to channel grants to marginal electorates and Liberal-held electorates, for its own political gain, and ignored the needs of sportspeople in electorates in regional Australia like Shortland. They provided $10 million to improve facilities at the North Sydney pool, in one of the wealthiest parts of Australia. I've no idea how that particular project, the North Sydney pool, could qualify for this grants program.

In contrast, not a cent was provided for any project in the Hunter Valley or the Central Coast. I will give you an example. The mighty Garden Suburb Football Club, in my electorate, has seen a boom in female football players. Only a decade ago, it had one or two female players. Now half of its 500 registered members are female football players. But they don't have a single changing room to change in. They are forced to get changed in the back of cars, in the canteen, in the bush. That's a disgrace. A grant of only $300,000 would repair this horrible situation. This is but one club in my electorate that has seen the boom in female sport participation, a boom across Aussie Rules, soccer, touch football, rugby league and rugby union. They are all missing out—in contrast to the $250 million that was rorted by this government. This is why this second reading amendment is so important. It calls on the Prime Minister to hold himself and his ministers to the same standards of integrity expected of our athletes and sports organisations.

One way the Prime Minister can demonstrate that he has learned the lessons of the sports rorts affair is by doing what he and the Treasurer said they would do—that is, fund projects that were recommended by Sport Australia under the Community Sport Infrastructure Grants Program. After being caught out by the Auditor-General for funnelling millions of dollars in sports grants into marginal and target seats before the 2019 election, the Prime Minister and the Treasurer said they would provide more funding in the budget. On 29 January the Prime Minister said:

… there are many other projects that you would like to support, and the Treasurer and I will consider that as we go forward.

On 20 January he said: 'I will work with the Treasurer to see how we can better support even more projects in the future.' On Insiders, on 2 February 2020, the Treasurer said:

What the Prime Minister has foreshadowed is given the strong community need and the importance of supporting these sporting organisations, we would, in the context of the Budget, revisit a program of this type.

…   …   …

A support to support the actual sporting clubs.

The Prime Minister told the sporting clubs that missed out because of the sports rorts affair that he would revisit the grants program in the budget. If he was serious about integrity in sport and serious about integrity in government, he would have delivered on these undertakings. Yet, as usual, Scott Morrison is all talk and no action. There was nothing in the budget for the sports clubs who were snubbed in the sports rorts affairs. As my colleague the shadow minister for sport has pointed out, after building up the hopes of hundreds of community sports club that his government ripped off, the Prime Minister has again treated them with contempt. The Prime Minister was happy to splurge hundreds of million dollars on sports projects that he thought could win him an election, but he clearly has no intention of making right his rort and no idea of how sports is hurting.

Female sports participants in my electorate are hurting right now. They lack places to get changed with the dignity that every person in this country should be granted when we encourage them to play sport. The Prime Minister and the Treasurer are dudding the female football players, the female sports people of the electorate of Shortland. The Australian Sports Foundation has reported that more than 16,000 community sports clubs could be forced to close the doors permanently because the impacts of COVID-19. The millions of Australians who take part in or volunteer in community sport every week all deserve so much better than a Prime Minister with nothing to offer but empty promises.

Photo of Kevin AndrewsKevin Andrews (Menzies, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Is the amendment seconded?

Photo of Susan TemplemanSusan Templeman (Macquarie, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I second the amendment and reserve my right to speak.

Photo of Kevin AndrewsKevin Andrews (Menzies, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

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 that the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question.

12:28 pm

Photo of Katie AllenKatie Allen (Higgins, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Twenty years ago all of Australia stopped to watch Cathy Freeman win gold for Australia at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The new kid on the block was Ian Thorpe, a 16-year-old who smashed records in the pool. Susie O'Neill, Grant Hackett, Leisel Jones and Michael Klim became household names. The Sydney Olympics signalled the start of a new millennium. Australia was united as we cheered our athletes on and showcased the Australian spirit to the world. If the world didn't know where Down Under was, they sure did by the end of the Olympics.

Australians pride ourselves on honesty, integrity and a fair go, on and off the field. We don't suffer fools lightly and we won't tolerate cheating. We do not tolerate it among ourselves and we will not tolerate it in others. Earlier this year Australian swimmer Mack Horton reignited his feud with Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, who has previously been suspended from competitive swimming due to doping charges. In front of the entire swimming fraternity, Mack refused to share a podium with the swimmer, making a stance about the need to ensure a clean playing field. The public support for Mack was overwhelmingly positive. Our athletes have to work hard—and their families, too. It's early mornings at the pool, it's long afternoons at the football oval, it's driving all over the state and country for competitions and meets. To have all that hard work devalued because of the actions of individuals who don't hold the same values is deeply upsetting. On home soil, the never-ending saga of the Essendon Football Club rocked the sporting world and dominated the news for years. The system was let down, as were other players, fans and supporters.

In Australia we have a reputation to uphold on the global stage, and that is why bills like the Sport Integrity Australia Amendment (World Anti-Doping Code Review) Bill 2020 are so important. It ensures we are in line with the rest of the world, and in some cases leading the world, in having a united antidoping approach.

This bill amends the Sport Integrity Australia Act 2020 to reflect the 2021 code and ensures that Australia continues to meet its obligations under the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport. UNESCO recognises that doping jeopardises the values, ethics and integrity in sport, and the health of those involved in it.

The World Anti-Doping Code is a core document that harmonises antidoping policies, rules and regulations within sport organisations and among public health authorities around the world. The code is reviewed every six years to ensure it continues to be relevant and up to date. It's a document that accounts for the latest in doping technology and practices. These continue to change as science informs better management and measurement.

The revised World Anti-Doping Code is due to commence on 1 January 2021 after an extensive review undertaken by WADA—or the World Anti-Doping Agency—from December 2017 through to November 2019. This bill will allow Australia to sign up to the code and, in return, enact the code within our sporting bodies and ensure our own agencies, like ASADA, are working within the code and are consistent with the principles of the world antidoping convention and what is happening around the world.

By aligning our own practices to the UN and the rest of the world, we are working to create a level playing field for domestic, international, professional and amateur sport, and to end the scourge of performance-enhancing substances and methods. Australia has always participated in its global health obligations and involved itself in the decisions made by global agencies. We have an important role to play as a middle-order country that punches above its weight with regard to great integrity, and the world antidoping convention is no different.

Australia has participated in the review and provided feedback and comments throughout the review process to ensure we were active in the decision-making process. The Australian government consulted with several stakeholders, including national sporting organisations, Sport Australia, the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee—and a big shout-out to one of my colleagues from Monash University, Sue White, who's on that committee—and local antidoping experts throughout the code review process. Given Australia's consistent views against doping and our inherent approach to demanding a fair go and integrity, I'm sure the convention is better for having our participation and expertise. Our medical researchers and health practitioners are well regarded around the world. The revised code was approved by the WADA Foundation Board at its meeting on 6 November 2019 at the Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport in Poland.

This bill will also widen the net and extend the National Anti-Doping scheme to include other people under the code. Previous to the review, only the athlete and support person, such as a coach, were subject to the code. Under the new guidelines, sporting administration bodies like the Australian Olympic Committee can determine who it would like to subjects to its antidoping policy. It's anticipated that a sporting administration body's executive and senior management would be subject to this bill as well as specified employees.

By widening the net to include not just the athlete and the coach, the code will seek to discourage doping facilitation such as trafficking or administration of a prohibited substance or method. It will also aid in the reporting of an antidoping rule violation or tampering with the doping control processes. This latest review also works to close a loophole that will strengthen the definition of when you are formally defined as an athlete with regard to this bill.

In addition to required code amendments, the bill amends the Sport Integrity Australia Act to amend the definition of athlete to continue to capture a person for six months after the last time they competed. This will work to stop the practice of athletes competing then retiring for six months. During this time they could theoretically be able to engage in doping and other performance enhancing measures. They could then stop doping and return the sport having benefited from the performance enhancers that are tested once enrolled back in competitive sport. They would not display any positive result.

This bill makes sure those who remain in organised sport under a gruelling training regime are not disadvantaged by those who leave the sport and then come back simply so they can avoid detection for doping. This bill is not to arbitrarily go after athletes who have genuinely retired.

Signing up and participating in these types of agreements strengthens our global health diplomacy. It adds validity and integrity to our sporting culture. It means other countries want us to compete in their competitions because they know we run a good clean fight, even if we are, on occasion, beaten. It means that we can continue to hold our heads up high at international events and that Australians are respected in their chosen sports. I commend this bill to the chamber. I think it speaks a lot to the sort of people we are as a country.

12:36 pm

Photo of Zali SteggallZali Steggall (Warringah, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to speak on the Sport Integrity Australia Amendment (World Anti-Doping Code Review) Bill 2020. The purpose of the bill is to amend the Sport Integrity Australia Act 2020 by expanding the operation and provisions to include those nonparticipants in sport, to amend the definition of an athlete and other amendments.

I can't start and get into the technicalities of the bill without acknowledging my personal experience with this. It is one of those lucky days where I can combine so many areas of my life, my passions and the amazing opportunities that I've had. I first competed at the Winter Olympics when I was 17. I think that was my first experience, from an international sport, with the amount of codes and the amount of legislation, but also the testing and the need for sport to be clean. In those days, 1992, we hadn't yet really come to terms with how broad and how big a problem doping had become in sports, especially around the Olympic sports and those kinds of things. It was really interesting over the course of my career, from, in 1994, having to do a gender test to prove my gender to be permitted to compete as a female at the Winter Olympics, to then having to undertake a number of doping tests. I'm probably one of the very few in this chamber, I would say, that has had to undertake a doping test. These are so important. It is important that the international community have come together with this legislation, with the wider code, to ensure that we have clean sport.

If you speak to athletes about what it is that drives them to participate in sport, it is that passion about doing your best, about seeing what your limits are and seeing if you can go past them. It's about really trying to excel in something that you love doing. One thing I think that a lot of athletes have in common is that we tend to like a clean playing field. People want to know that you're going to win or lose fair and square. You want to know that there are rules of play, that there's a procedure by which you can win, or succeed, and that it is an even playing field so it truly is a test of your ability, your talent, your determination and your skill.

There is an incredibly disappointing experience where doubt enters sport, where the results and those heroic outcomes get tainted by the allegations. When they are made out to be true the outcomes are sullied. When allegations of cheating are made out to be true it is such a disappointing moment for sport because we know that those who missed out on the opportunity to be on the podium, because a drug cheat was there at the time, will never get that moment back. You can rectify the record years down the track, when science and technology has caught up, but you can never give the athlete back the moment that's been lost, that opportunity to stand on the podium, to hear the anthem, to watch your flag go up on the post.

It's really important that governments and sporting codes work as hard as possible to keep sport as clean as possible. Sadly—maybe human nature—there is always that desire to cut corners and find ways to cheat. But it is encouraging when internationally we come together to put solutions on the table.

The World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, was established in 1999. It's an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world. So it was widely recognised that everyone needed to come together for that. Its purpose is to research, educate and develop antidoping capacities and to monitor the World Anti-Doping Code. Of course, there's no point having a code if it's not monitored and applied, and that's where it gets tricky. The agency was founded by the International Olympic Committee with the declaration of Lausanne in response to the growing pressure stemming from doping episodes, including the allegations and systemic doping around the 1998 Tour de France cycling season. I remember those days well, '98 being a big year in my sporting career, but also 1999. I saw that shift, as an athlete competing; we were regularly drug tested and had to engage with that process.

WADA has been a consistent positive force in sports. Its influence culminated in the banning of countries from competing in international events and levelling the playing field in various sports. The World Anti-Doping Code, which WADA monitors, harmonises antidoping policies, rules and regulations within sports organisations and among public authorities around the world. It works in conjunction with six international standards which aim to foster consistency among antidoping organisations in various areas. What's important is that the WADA code is up for review on a regular basis, because we know we have to keep up to date with developments and the latest technology. Sadly, the cheats tend to always be a step ahead of the movement and the authorities trying to catch them.

In January 2003, the first code was approved in Copenhagen during the second World Conference on Doping in Sport. Approximately 700 sports organisations have accepted the code. Signatories include sporting organisations that belong to the Olympic movement, national antidoping organisations and national and international sporting federations outside the Olympic movement. The purpose of the World Anti-Doping Code and the antidoping program are clearly to protect the athletes' fundamental right to participate in a clean and doping-free sport; promote health, fairness and equality for athletes worldwide; and ensure harmonised, co-ordinated and effective antidoping programs at international and national levels with regard to the prevention of doping. Australia is a signatory of the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport. Under this convention we've agreed to implement the code. So I very much support the code and the international efforts to fight doping.

We have to have ongoing efforts to protect Australian sport, but we also always need to be conscientious. We've often been the first to accuse others but find excuses for our own. We have to be consistent in making sure that we want clean sport everywhere. It is an ongoing process, and threats evolve over time. No system is ever perfect. I was incredibly privileged to be a member of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, ASADA, and the ASADA Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel for several years. It was incredibly rewarding as a past athlete to have the opportunity to be on the administrative side of trying to reconcile applying the code and the rules and hearing how the athletes were dealing with the code and any transgressions.

In December 2017, WADA initiated a two-year three-phase code review progress, which involved extensive stakeholder consultation regarding the code, the international standards and the Athletes' Anti-Doping Rights Act. The stakeholders identified 51 significant changes between the current code and the 2021 version. Some of the changes are substantial and very important. The code has been amended to reflect an increased emphasis on the importance of athlete health and to provide a better statement of ethical foundation. Under article 2.11, the new antidoping rule violation of threatening another person to discourage that person from good-faith reporting to authorities is important, because it's often through anonymous tip-offs that we start to investigate cheating behaviour.

We need WADA accredited laboratories to have the ability to detect the minuscule quantities of prohibited substances in athletes' samples, and that has increased exponentially. Timing is everything with a lot of these substances, and more often than not it is the out-of-competition testing that is vital, because it's when people are in their preparation phase for big events that you are more likely to catch them if they're using banned substances. That ability to detect the tail end of prohibited substances is very important, because that alleviates a bit of the pressure on timing. It also raises the question of whether more people will be caught inadvertently. There is an incredible onus on athletes that they bear responsibility to be aware of everything that enters their body, which is an incredibly high bar and a high amount of responsibility on them, especially on junior athletes.

When I was on the ASADA Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel, one of the most frequent occurrences we had was people getting caught out by their supplements. These are supplements that are, for example, coming in from overseas; they have ingredients not automatically labelled up front, but if you search them on the internet it becomes clear that some of the ingredients in the substances are banned. It was disappointing to see how often that was the problem for the people who were getting caught.

A key theme of the review is proportionality, where WADA aims to ensure the code targets the right stakeholders and applies consequences that are proportionate to an individual's culpability. This is where it gets really difficult, because, invariably, most athletes who are caught will have the defence that they didn't mean to do it or it was an accident. I don't think I've ever seen any athletes really come clean and take responsibility. But we do need to be able to differentiate between an athlete who has genuinely been caught out by a supplement or by ingesting a banned substance completely inadvertently and unknowingly and an athlete who is attempting to make up a story or hide.

We've had some pretty amazing cases of this from around the world. I was very privileged to go to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018 as an arbitrator. I sat on the court of arbitration for sport; in fact, I sat on the appeals in relation to whether Russian athletes would be permitted to compete at those Olympic Games. That was a case where it was incredibly systemic. We saw 298 athletes investigated; 200 were caught doping, and 47 Olympic medals were stripped. There were real concerns over their systemic approach to doping, and that continues today. We still have issues of compliance with RUSADA when it comes to the code and true independent testing occurring.

What is also important about this bill is it extends the code to applying to relevant nonparticipants to be subject to the National Anti-Doping scheme. That's important, because what we find in the course of investigations is that there are a number of parties involved over the process of how athletes come to be in possession of banned substances, and we need to make sure that all of those responsible are caught and dealt with. It may be medical practitioners providing it; it might be pharmacists. We have to look at who is accessing these substances.

The Sport Integrity Australia CEO now has discretion not to publish details of an antidoping rule violation when it's a recreational drug or if the athlete does haven't the mental capacity to understand the rules. We have to be clear that consequences of an adverse analytical finding are severe. Athletes are judged, and the damage to reputation is irretrievable more often than not, so we have to be very cautious in how the information becomes public. The code is the foundation of antidoping efforts internationally, so it's very important that governments and national sporting organisations get behind it and keep on improving it.

The most important message I can put out there, though, is for the athletes. You need to stay informed. Under the code, you have to log your whereabouts at all times. You need to be aware of all the ingredients of any over-the-counter supplements. It's very important for all of you to go to the Sport Integrity Australia website and make sure you are aware of your obligations and everything.

Lastly, whilst the fight against antidoping and cheating in sport is incredibly important, we can't ignore the other issues sport faces. Up there with doping, is the risk and threat of gambling impacting on the outcomes of sport and organised crime in association with gambling having a huge impact on the integrity of sport. I would urge the government to do more in combating that and in making sure that we have strong legislation to deal with any gambling and those consequences when it comes to sport. Sport should be about encouraging people to do their best and inspiring others to really perform and give 110 per cent. It's incredibly rewarding, but we need to keep it clean.

12:50 pm

Photo of Peta MurphyPeta Murphy (Dunkley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

For many Australians, sport is an ingrained part of our national and personal identity. I think that's for two reasons. One is that, as a country, we see our sporting individuals' and sporting teams' success as our entire country's success. We are proud to cheer on Australian teams, and there's probably nothing that sport-loving Australians like more than cheering on Australians at the Olympic Games. I'm conscious that I'm speaking in this debate after a former Olympian—who I did cheer on, for the record. We see the success of Australian athletes and teams as Australian success and also, as part of that, we understand that the large sporting moments in our history are political moments sometimes and culture-changing moments.

You don't have to look any further than Cathy Freeman's magnificent victory at the 2000 Olympics as evidence of that. That was not only an amazingly successful win for an athlete that perhaps we will never see the like of again for her natural ability; it was also an incredibly strong statement about the history and the possibility for the future of the relationship between those of us who have come to Australia in the last 200 or so years and the longest living civilisation in the world, in our First Nations people. In her quiet and unassuming but incredibly determined and powerful way, Cathy Freeman paved the next 20 years in Australia of that walk to reconciliation that we are still on. But we are so much further down the road because of her and her amazing athletic ability.

I think the second reason so many Australians have sport intrinsically embedded in their personal and national identity is that those of us who are involved in grassroots local sport understand that, yes, it's about playing the game and sometimes it's about being able to win and get a trophy, but most of the time it's about the community that forms around your club or the sport you play and the support that local clubs and sporting associations give to people in the community not just when they're playing their sport but in their time of need. They are two big reasons why Australians, on the whole, are so passionate about integrity in sport, a fair playing field and everyone getting the same go and having the same opportunity to have that successful outcome.

We see examples everywhere of how local sporting clubs and associations are so much more than just the game that they play. And today I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Game Changer's Reuniting the Peninsula relay run, which was run two weekends ago. Twenty-two MPNFL clubs—all of them—participated in a 174-kilometre relay, visiting the grounds of each of those clubs in one day, to reunite the clubs on the peninsula after this horrid year of 2020 and to look forward to season 2021. Just as importantly, they raised money for mental health education programs which will be delivered to the MPNFL in 2021 and beyond.

Game Changer provides the link between those who need help and those who can provide it. Every single club in that league stepped up and participated in the peninsula relay run. I want to thank all of the clubs and all of the people who participated, but, of course, I want to particularly thank the Pines, YCW, Seaford, Langwarrin, Mount Eliza, the Bombers and Karingal for doing what everyone in our community knows you do all the time—fostering bonds, fostering connectedness, fostering community and making sure you contribute to helping people in our community who need help, at the time they need it, as well as competing fiercely against each other to try to win that trophy.

Integrity in sport is also, as I said, about fairness. Australians are very keen to be able to see decisions being made in a way that is transparent and based on some obvious criteria. It might seem that I'm about to launch into the government over the sports rorts—before I do that, I want to echo the sentiment of Michelle Martin, one of Australia's finest female athletes and a former world No. 1 squash player, on behalf of everyone around the world who loves the sport that I love, and say that it is extraordinary that breakdancing is in the 2024 Olympics and squash isn't. Before any breakdancers get upset with me—I think you're amazing. I don't know how you do what you do. You're incredible athletes, plus you've got great rhythm. Don't get me wrong—sport dancing is terrific but, I'm sorry, it doesn't belong in the Olympics before squash.

Squash, around the world, ran an amazing campaign—headed by Nicol David, who is the second-best female squash player ever, after Australia's magnificent Heather McKay, and Ramy Ashour, who is absolutely the most freakishly talented man ever to play squash—to get squash into the Tokyo Olympics. We were all beside ourselves with amazement and dismay when we didn't get in. Basketball, which is already in, was allowed to have another division, of three-by-three; there are all sorts of different categories for BMX; but squash didn't make the Tokyo Olympics.

Now, we are absolutely flabbergasted and dismayed. I just want to quote what Michelle Martin said. She was almost at the point of thinking that perhaps the Olympic Games might become a 'mockery', because squash can't make the Olympic Games but these apparently modern sports that appeal to young people can. The Olympics mean something; Olympic medals mean something. I call on the Australian Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee to take a long, hard look at yourselves and put squash in the Olympic Games. While you're at it, have a look at softball and baseball and cricket and netball and these sports that can't make the Olympic Games, when sports like basketball get to have a three-by-three competition.

I want to finish my contribution by speaking to the second reading amendment briefly and saying that the sports rorts scandal that this government engaged in, in order to try to bribe their way to an election victory, diminishes this government. The way they've handled it since it was uncovered diminishes this government, but, just as importantly, it is just another dagger to the heart of integrity and trust in the political system and it was done using people who volunteer hundreds of hours of their time in order to have their local club that they love have a chance to get a grant so that their facilities are much better. That's a slap in the face. We have so many sporting facilities that should be upgraded. There are more in my electorate that should be upgraded, and I'll continue to put submissions in to the government and fight for them. Everyone who plays sport knows that you follow the rules, because, if you don't follow the rules and you win, you can never really be proud of your victory.

1:00 pm

Photo of Stuart RobertStuart Robert (Fadden, Liberal Party, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank everyone who has made contributions to this debate on the Sport Integrity Australia Amendment (World Anti-Doping Code Review) Bill 2020. To continue to be a world leader in sports integrity, Australia must demonstrate its commitment to the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, the World Anti-Doping Code—or the code—and the broader international antidoping effort. The government is demonstrating Australia's commitment to clean sport by amending our antidoping arrangements to reflect the revisions to the code and to hold our athletes, support persons and, now, those considered nonparticipants to the highest standard. It's also important to acknowledge the effort of the World Anti-Doping Agency drafting committee, who have listened to extensive stakeholder feedback and input to include revisions that were accepted by the broader antidoping community, including governments, international sporting federations and major event organisers.

I would like to thank the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights for its comments and suggestions on the bill. The government has taken the comments on board and included the bill's replacement explanatory memorandum that further clarifies how the bill's impacts on privacy, while minor, are proportional and legitimate to the policy outcome. These points were considered and accepted by the committee. I know Australians are excited about the prospect of cheering our Olympic heroes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics; however, just as importantly, Australians want to know their athletes are competing clean and competing fair. I commend the bill to the House.

Photo of David GillespieDavid Gillespie (Lyne, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

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 immediate question is that the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question.

Question agreed to.

Original question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.