Monday, 24 February 2020
Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019; Second Reading
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill would establish a new Australian government agency, to be known as Sport Integrity Australia, to protect the integrity of Australian sport. Well might my colleagues scoff and those opposite cringe when the words 'sport' and 'integrity' are mentioned in the same sentence in this place. It is ironic, and no doubt more than a little awkward, for the government to be talking about integrity in sport. We are all aware of the shocking revelations of the past month. First, it was Senator McKenzie's sports rorts scandal and now we've got the sequel, which I've heard described as 'sports rorts 2—look who's rorting now'. But while integrity might not be something that the Morrison government takes seriously in relation to itself, it is an issue that is very serious for Australia's sports sector.
The new agency that will be established by this legislation will bring together a range of sports integrity functions that are currently the responsibility of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, ASADA, the National Integrity of Sport Unit and Sport Australia. The establishment of such an agency was a key recommendation of the 2018 review of Australia's sports integrity arrangements, known as the Wood review. It recommended 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 and detection, investigation and enforcement.
This bill seeks to implement the government's response to that recommendation.
The review of Australia's sports integrity arrangements was announced in August 2017 by the then Minister for Sport, Mr Greg Hunt. The review panel was chaired by the Hon. James Wood, a former justice of the New South Wales Supreme Court and a former chairman of the Law Reform Commission of New South Wales. Senator McKenzie, who took over the portfolio from Mr Hunt, received the Wood review in March 2018 and released the government's response to the review in February 2019. Senator Colbeck is now the Minister for Youth and Sport and it is his job to implement the government's response to the Wood review. It is a detailed and extensive review—nearly 300 pages and it contains 52 recommendations. The government has been cooperative in facilitating briefings by departmental officials on both the Wood review and on various aspects of the proposed response to its recommendations.
The work done through the review process builds on Labor's establishment of the National Integrity of Sport Unit in 2012 and its strengthening of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's powers in 2013. In government, Labor recognised the need to evaluate the effectiveness of Australia's sports integrity measures and to upgrade and update them when needed in order to address changing environments and new threats. 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.
I want to talk about why it is important that governments invest in protecting the integrity of sport. Sport is an integral part of our way of life in Australia, whether it be through supporting local, state and national teams from the stands or from our living rooms, taking the kids to school or junior club sport or swimming lessons, pulling on the boots or strapping on the pads as a weekend warrior at the grassroots level, or training hard and striving to compete at the elite level. Most Australians have a connection to sport in some way, the value of which is enormous: exercise through physical activity and all the health benefits that it brings; bringing people together, which builds and strengthens communities; family time; and the benefits to local, state and national economies from sporting events.
According to the Intergenerational Review of Australian Sport 2017, more than 90 per cent of Australian adults have an interest in sport, with 8.4 million adults and three million children participating in sport each year. That report also revealed that the sports sector's contribution to the Australian economy was equivalent to two to three per cent of GDP, employing more than 220,000 people, and attracting 1.8 million volunteers—Australia's largest volunteer sector. The work that those volunteers do is invaluable. Without them, most of the opportunities for Australians to participate in sport and to enjoy its health benefits wouldn't exist. Volunteering in sport, as in other sectors, is a labour of love. If those volunteers lose their love of sport because it is tainted by doping, match fixing or other integrity threats, our nation risks losing that huge and immensely important volunteer contribution. Labor commends every one of those volunteers for the huge and valuable contribution they make to Australian communities and society.
Unfortunately, the Morrison government has treated those very same volunteers with complete contempt. In many cases, club volunteers put hundreds of hours into preparing grant applications to the Community Support and Infrastructure Grants Program, but they are still waiting on an apology from Senator McKenzie and Mr Scott Morrison for snubbing their meritorious applications so that they could run an industrial-scale pork-barrelling scheme. Just as threats to the integrity of sport can leave volunteers and workers disillusioned, so too can a total lack of integrity from government.
However, we must progress efforts to protect the integrity of Australian sport, even as the Morrison government makes a mockery of integrity in government. We must progress, because we know, through studies like the Intergenerational review of Australian sport and others, that sport can make a major contribution to our health and wellbeing. Participation in sport can play an important role in an active, healthy lifestyle, combating obesity and physical inactivity. For our children, sport improves outcomes in core academic fields and also teaches life skills and improves retention. Sport brings people together like few sectors can and is a rich source of social capital. And success on the international stage builds national pride and reinforces Australia's international reputation for excellence in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
There's never a shortage of great Aussie sporting success stories. Over the weekend our brilliant Australian women's cricket team recorded yet another win. The Bushfire Bash has reportedly raised $7 million for fire-impacted communities, on top of the $2 million that Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association have committed. Ash Barty is No. 1 in the world. I could go on.
Returning to why we must protect the integrity of Australian sport, I note that every time we hear a good-news story like the ones I've just mentioned it enhances the reputation of Australian sport and our love for it. But every time we hear reports of doping in sport, or when we hear reports of match fixing, it damages and devalues sport's reputation and our love for it. Labor, in government, was proactive in deploying measures to protect against these and other threats to the integrity of sport in Australia. But those threats evolved, and so must Australia's protection measures.
This bill seeks to implement an important part of the first stage of Australia's response to the 52 recommendations of the Wood review. To paraphrase the review's report, a centrally coordinated response to sport integrity issues will help overcome the silo effect that currently exists, with multiple bodies, including NSOs, law enforcement and regulatory agencies engaged in protecting sport from threats. The review also noted that the difficulties in securing a coordinated response is compounded by our federated system, in which there are often differences in state, territory and federal regulatory and criminal laws. And, as I mentioned in my remarks on the National Sports Tribunal Bill 2019 in this place last year, the need for measures to strengthen Australia's sport integrity arrangements is something Labor recognised and acted on in government. The establishment of Sport Integrity Australia, through this bill, is yet another step towards strengthening Australia's defences against any and all threats to Australia's sports integrity. Given the value of sports to Australians, Australian society and the Australian economy, this is something that Labor supports.
Labor has worked closely with stakeholders in relation to the government's implementation of its response to the Wood review, and we will continue to do that. I note that this bill was referred to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee late last year, and the committee reported on the bill last week. Most submissions to the committee supported the establishment of Sport Integrity Australia. The Australian Olympic Committee's submission, for example, stated:
It is paramount to the integrity of sport in an increasingly complex sporting environment that there is a co-ordinated national approach against doping, matchfixing, illegal gambling, corruption and participant protection issues.
A few concerns remain, and Labor has been informed that the government, through Minister Colbeck, has undertaken to work with stakeholders to address those concerns, where possible, through implementation.
Notwithstanding those remaining concerns, the committee recommended that the Senate pass this bill. Labor will continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure that the establishment and operation of Sport Integrity Australia is done in an appropriate way and that the agency can deliver the outcomes it will be tasked with achieving. We will also continue to work to ensure the government's broader response to the recommendation of the Wood review is appropriate and as strong as possible, to protect the important role sport plays in our Australian way of life, now and into the future. Labor support the bill, and we commend the bill to the Senate.
What a nerve, for this government to be introducing a bill in this place entitled 'Sport Integrity Australia'! What chutzpah, while it is in the midst of a massive corruption scandal over sports rorts! Introducing this bill just serves to underline how it's a matter of: 'Do as I say, not as I do; don't watch what's going on.' We've got a government that has shown absolutely no integrity over this issue, right up to the Prime Minister. He's refused to answer questions about his role in the sport rorts affair and whether he was aware of the role his office played. We've got a report by his former chief of staff, now the head of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Phil Gaetjens, which has not been made public—and I'm flagging that we Greens are going to be asking for the Gaetjens report again this week. Sports integrity matters and examining the standards that are set out in this legislation only serve to highlight the hypocrisy of this government. While this legislation talks of integrity, ethics and values that promote confidence in sport, those opposite are rorting the system. They are pork-barrelling, through sports rorts 1 and sports rorts 2—a quarter of a billion dollars in rorting the system, undermining integrity in sport!
But, to this bill—the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019 establishes Sport Integrity Australia, which will be a single body to administer and coordinate the work necessary to prevent and address threats to sports integrity in Australia. This follows, of course, the review of Australia's sports integrity arrangements, or the Wood review. In response to the Wood review, the government has adopted a two-stage approach: the first stage establishes Sport Integrity Australia, and a second stage will establish the sport integrity capabilities that the Wood review proposed, including a joint investigations and intelligence unit, a strategic analysis unit and the transfer of sports gambling work from the Sports Betting Integrity Unit of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to Sport Integrity Australia. This bill will abolish ASADA, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, and create Sport Integrity Australia. It will expand the functions of the CEO of Sport Integrity Australia to include broader sports integrity functions and will create an advisory council.
Overall, the Greens are supportive of what this bill aims to do, however, there are a number of concerns that have been raised about the measures that are covered in this bill that we remain concerned about. Some submissions that were made on this bill, including that of Dr Annette Greenhow, noted that the bill will rely on the external affairs powers under the Constitution—although Australia has not yet ratified the relevant agreement, the Macolin Convention. This seems to be something that really needs to be sorted out.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights notes that changes in this bill will engage the right to privacy. In particular, the committee notes that, 'No information has been provided as to why each exemption from the Privacy Act is required or proportionate.' The committee noted particular concerns about sharing personal information with overseas entities, and also noted that Sport Integrity Australia will have exemptions from the requirement to have individuals consent before collecting sensitive information in certain circumstances and to notify eligible data breaches where the CEO believes this would likely prejudice enforcement activities. These are very concerning issues that've been raised by the committee.
As I said, we support the establishment of Sport Integrity Australia, as recommended by the Wood review, but we remain deeply concern about these issues and we will be looking very closely to see how Sport Integrity Australia ensures that it's respecting the right to privacy in its actions.
Another crucial clause in the bill is related to defining integrity. Specifically, 'sports integrity' is defined in the bill as 'the manifestation of the ethics and values that promote confidence in sport'. Sadly, again, returning to my theme at the beginning, the government has, in its actions over the last month, undermined confidence in sport precisely by failing to display ethics and values in its handling of funding. The issues around the sports rorts are not going away. We have another hearing of our Senate inquiry later this week and we will continue to prosecute this issue, because it is undermining integrity. It is undermining the confidence that people can have in sports.
I note here that we think, as part of the package of saying that we are concerned about integrity in sport, that the government really needs to make some amends when it comes to the sports rorts. A good start would be to fund the deserving clubs that missed out on funding. Those clubs that would have been funded if it had been a level playing field, if the sports values of fairness and a fair go for all had actually been followed.
The other thing that would be good to indicate that the government was really concerned about integrity in sport would be for the Prime Minister to provide a full and honest account of the role that his office played in administering these grants. These are issues that we will certainly be continuing to explore in the Senate committee.
This bill today is part of a package of bills that the government is introducing to implement the Wood review recommendations. We have also been examining, through the community affairs committee, another piece of legislation that the coalition has proposed—and the committee report was tabled just this afternoon. This is the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Enhancing Australia's Anti-Doping Capability) Bill. I want to talk a little bit about some of our concerns with that bill. Although we have got concerns with this Sport Integrity Australia bill, which is here before us today, overall we think it is a piece of legislation that needs to be supported. But the next bit of legislation that the government is introducing, we think, has got far more problems and once again shows that the balance is not quite right when it comes to making sure that we've got integrity in sport and making sure that people can be assured that there is fairness, that there aren't doping violations going on. But at the same time we need to be protecting the rights of athletes. We believe that basic human rights are important, and there is a long recognised common law right to not self-incriminate. The next bit of legislation that the committee report submitted this afternoon, and our dissenting report to that, highlights that this is a big issue with that legislation: the common-law right to not self-incriminate.
I'd like to quote my colleague Senator Di Natale, sitting just behind me today, when he spoke on this issue back in 2013, when we Greens successfully amended the ASADA amendment bill that was before the Senate, then, in order to ensure the protection of the right to not self-incriminate. Senator Di Natale said:
We are talking about athletes here, some of them are young kids, they are not going to be familiar with detailed legal processes, they should be able to compete and know that if ASADA does want to question them about something that they are afforded the same rights they would be if they were questioned by the police or by some other legal jurisdiction.
We will have more to say on this issue when we are debating the enhancing capability bill. But we are very concerned with the approach being proposed by the government in the sports portfolios.
We've raised these concerns in a number of contexts already. We have raised them in the dissenting report that was tabled this afternoon. I think it is very sad but perhaps typical of the coalition to be taking away human rights, even in the sports portfolio, while, at the same time, they themselves are rorting a community sports program and violating community trust. Some of our other concerns are expanding the powers of ASADA when there is quite considerable evidence of ASADA overreaching and overusing their existing powers—intimidating athletes who, in the end, are innocent, overstepping the mark and putting athletes through hell while they're doing that.
The next bit of legislation that we're going to be looking at will give ASADA even more power. They will be able to bring in an athlete for questioning and make them jump through hoops and put them through huge issues—basically putting them through hell—not on the basis of a reasonable belief but only that they reasonably suspect. And what does it mean to reasonably suspect that somebody is guilty of a doping violation? Basically, it could just be a hunch. So we are very concerned about that. Similarly, this next bit of legislation is going to be removing the right for athletes to appeal to the AAT, which we don't think is appropriate, and make it harder for athletes to access information relevant to them.
We are concerned. On the one hand, we've got good rationale for making sure that we have a system where there is integrity in sport. On the other hand, we've got a government that is not leading by example. We've got really significant concerns about how this coalition government can have any pretence to be overseeing integrity in sports. They have already overseen political corruption in the sports rorts scandal. There has been a corrupt coalition cover-up over the Gaetjens report. So I now move a second reading amendment to this legislation to reflect those concerns:
At the end of the motion, add "but the Senate:
(a) notes that:
(i) the provision of adequate sporting infrastructure will assist Sports Integrity Australia in meeting its education and outreach goals,
(ii) an evaluation of the Community Sport Infrastructure Program by the Australian National Audit Office found that 'the award of funding reflected the approach documented by the Minister's Office of focusing on 'marginal' electorates held by the Coalition as well as those electorates held by other parties or independent members that were to be 'targeted' by the Coalition at the 2019 Election. Applications from projects located in those electorates were more successful in being awarded funding than if funding was allocated on the basis of merit assessed against the published program guidelines', and
(iii) the Government, including the former Minister for Sport, has not displayed ethics and values that promote community confidence in sport; and
(b) calls on the Government to provide an honest, comprehensive account of the role the Prime Minister's office played in allocating these grants".
I rise to speak on the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019. As chair of the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee I am pleased to make a contribution to the debate. On 17 October 2019 the House of Representatives introduced the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019. It was referred to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee on 14 November 2019 and the committee tabled its report on 5 February this year.
As you have heard from previous contributions, the bill seeks to amend the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Act 2006, the ASADA Act, to establish Sport Integrity Australia as a single body for the administration and coordination of functions to prevent and address threats to sports integrity in Australia. It also seeks to bring together all existing national sports integrity functions and capabilities across the Commonwealth. The bill responds to the key findings of the Review of Australia's Sports Integrity Arrangements, the Wood review, which addressed the vulnerability of Australian sport to future corruption. It is important we establish a central, specialised intelligence capability to support law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
Sport plays a significant role in the Australian way of life. Our sport-loving nation regularly comes to a standstill for major sporting events like the AFL Grand Final, the Ashes, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and the Australian Open, but on any given day, particularly at weekends, sporting facilities around the country are populated with people of all ages participating in and cheering on any number of sports, and if we're not there we're probably playing cricket in the backyard. Quite simply, it's a part of who we are as Australians. As Australians, we expect the sports that we participate in and watch to be fair and honest representations of the game, and we expect sport to be free of corruption. We have a high expectation of those who play, coach and manage sport, whether in a professional or an amateur capacity, and we need confidence that our sports are protected from threats to this integrity. Cheating and misconduct in sport, and sporting environments where abuse, discrimination and harassment are prevalent, are all considered harshly because of the importance sport enjoys in our national identity. Sport is also an integral component of the Australian economy. Any threat to the integrity of Australian sport will have direct consequences for the health, economic, social and cultural benefits of sport, as well as having the capacity to undermine potential investment in sport. A major threat to sports integrity could spell the end to Australian culture as we know it.
The Wood review identified avenues for enhancing Australia's capability to respond effectively to the increasing sophistication and complexity of threats to the integrity of sport. It also recognised that the changing nature of sport and the international competition we enjoy means sports integrity matters now go beyond a single stakeholder. These matters are complex, and the global nature of our world now means that they can be connected across sports, industries, law enforcement, borders and time zones. That is a big web to control.
The Wood review was undertaken after the then Minister for Sport requested a review of Australia's sports integrity arrangements in 2017. This review was part of the work conducted to develop a National Sport Plan, Sport 2030, in response to the growing global threat to the integrity of sport. The review was conducted by an independent and expert panel led by the Hon. James Wood AO QC. The Wood review was tasked with examining the following three areas: firstly, the current environment and threats around national and international sports and foreseeable future challenges; secondly, the adequacy of Australia's current sports integrity capability, particularly the capability of ASADA and Australia's sports sector to address contemporary doping threats, the effectiveness of the 2011 national policy on match-fixing, including the merits of becoming a signatory to the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions—the Macolin convention—the case for national match-fixing laws, the merits of establishing a formal national platform for effective ongoing detection of and response to betting related sports corruption and the merits of establishing a national sports integrity tribunal; and, finally, the options for structural changes to current sports integrity arrangements, including the merits of establishing a dedicated national sports integrity commission or similar entity.
The Wood review is considered to be the most comprehensive examination of sports integrity arrangements ever undertaken in Australia, if not the world. It found sports were challenged by a range of mounting integrity threats which include the increasing sophistication and incidence of doping; the globalisation of sports wagering, particularly through rapidly growing illegal online gambling markets; the infiltration and exploitation of the sports sector by organised crime; corruption in sports administration; and growing participant protection issues, particularly the sexual abuse of minors in sporting environments.
The Wood review report was presented to the government in March 2018. This report addressed key domestic and international threats to the integrity of sport, and made 52 recommendations across five key themes. These themes were: a stronger national response to match fixing through Australia becoming a party to the Macolin convention; the establishment of an Australian sports wagering scheme to sit within a proposed national sports integrity commission; a range of reforms aimed at enhancing Australia's antidoping capability; the establishment of a national sports tribunal; and the establishment of a national sports integrity commission.
In implementing the recommendations from the Wood review the government has adopted a two-stage approach. The Department of Health and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority made a joint submission to the committee's inquiry, explaining that the first stage of implementation should be to establish Sport Integrity Australia, and that the second stage of implementation would address the mechanisms needed to achieve the sports integrity recommendations proposed by the Wood review. Sport Integrity Australia will draw together and develop existing sports integrity capabilities, knowledge and expertise cohesively by coordinating all elements of the sports integrity threat response nationally.
Sport Integrity Australia will implement Australia's international obligations, both under the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport and, once in force and binding on Australia, the Macolin convention. In order to do this, Sport Integrity Australia will bring together the existing functions of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the National Integrity of Sport Unit and the sports integrity functions of Sport Australia. Once established and operating, it is anticipated that Sport Integrity Australia will expand to include enhanced match-fixing detection and suspicious wagering alert capabilities, a whistleblower scheme, and promote national collaboration on sports wagering-related integrity frameworks.
One of the Wood review's key recommendations was the establishment of a national sports integrity commission which would address the need for a formal national capability dedicated to coordinating the collection, analysis and dissemination of information and intelligence in relation to sports integrity. The Wood review found no existing Australian entity had the capability or power to obtain the information and intelligence necessary to understand and address threats to Australian sports integrity. In its joint submission to the inquiry, the Department of Health and ASADA explained that the establishment of Sport Integrity Australia would merge all functions and ongoing resources of the three current agencies to perform the existing sports integrity functions. These include policy and program delivery on all sports integrity matters; education and outreach on all sports integrity matters; the existing oversight of the implementation of adherence to sports integrity policies and programs by national sport organisations; antidoping monitoring, intelligence collection and investigations that are now performed by ASADA; and international engagement, including being the formal national platform for the purposes of the Macolin convention.
Sport Integrity Australia will act to prevent and address threats to sports integrity, aiming to achieve fair and honest sporting performances and outcomes; promoting positive conduct by athletes, administrators, officials and other stakeholders on and off the sporting arena; achieving a safe, fair and inclusive sporting environment at all levels; and enhancing the reputation and standing of sporting contests and of sport overall. To ensure the new agency can achieve all this, amendments will be made to the ASADA Act. These amendments are set out in the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019 and will abolish ASADA and create Sport Integrity Australia; expand the functions of Sport Integrity Australia's new chief executive officer to include functions related to broader sports integrity issues; and create an advisory council appointed by the minister to provide external expert advice of a general nature in relation to strategic and governance matters to the CEO of Sport Integrity Australia and the minister.
Those who made submissions to the inquiry support the establishment of Sport Integrity Australia, in particular—and I note Senator Brown also quoted this submission—the Australian Olympic Committee submitted that it is, 'Paramount to the integrity of sport in an increasingly complex sporting environment that there is a coordinated national approach against doping, match-fixing, illegal gambling, corruption and participant protection issues.'
In addressing the second stage of implementing the Wood review's recommendations, the mechanisms proposed are a joint investigation and intelligence unit and a strategic analysis unit and the transfer of the sports wagering data monitoring and alert functions of the Sports Betting Integrity Unit from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to Sport Integrity Australia. The bill also amends the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1988 to ensure Sport Integrity Australia's ability to receive and disseminate information as required.
A version of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019 was introduced in the 45th Parliament but lapsed when the House of Representatives was dissolved on 11 April 2019. We're committed to seeing this bill through in its updated format. To this end, the Department of Health and ASADA requested that the bill incorporate updates after consultation with stakeholders in relation to the earlier version of the bill. These updates include amendments to the object and CEO's functions and powers to better reflect the role and remit of the new agency; amendments to facilitate better information sharing by and with SIA; and consequential amendments to harmonise operation with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Enhancing Australia's Anti-Doping Capability) Bill 2019.
The Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee received six submissions during its inquiry. In relation to the matters raised in the submissions, the Wood review noted that sports integrity matters are complex, globalised, interconnected and beyond the control of any single stakeholder. The review found that Australia's vulnerabilities were exacerbated by the lack of nationally consistent legislative measures and other protections and development of centralised intelligence and law enforcement capabilities to connect Commonwealth, state and territory agencies. Indeed, the Wood review stated:
Without the presence of a comprehensive, effective and nationally coordinated response capability the hard-earned reputation of sport in this country risks being tarnished …
And this would potentially reduce participation rates, which would then diminish the social, cultural and economic value of the significant investment we make in sport.
As commented on by Senator Rice, in considering the bill's constitutionality, some submitters noted that there were no express Commonwealth constitutional powers to legislate in the areas of sport, sports integrity or crime. They also questioned whether, considering that lack of express power, the bill would be constitutional. However, section 3 of the ASADA Act identifies implementing Australia's international antidoping obligations as the foundation for the act, and the explanatory memorandum to the bill states that Sport Integrity Australia would implement Australia's international obligations under the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport and the Macolin convention, noting that the Macolin convention was not yet in force and binding on Australia.
It is important to note—as was also mentioned by Senator Rice—that a new definition of sport integrity has been added to this bill which is the manifestation of the ethics and values that promote confidence in sport. Threats to sports integrity include doping, drug use, match-fixing and criminal exploitation of athletes and events, but this is by no means exhaustive. The establishment of Sport Integrity Australia is a significant first step in our efforts to protect the integrity of Australian sport. Sport Integrity Australia will draw together existing sports integrity capabilities into a single national agency, and the amendments proposed in the bill will provide a sound base from which to expand the remit and capability of Sport Integrity Australia. These amendments will equip Sport Integrity Australia with the tools it needs to meet Australia's international obligations and the expectations of stakeholders to ensure that Australian sport at all levels is safe, fair and inclusive. I urge the Senate to support the bill.
This Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill seeks to establish a new Australian government agency, to be known as Sport Integrity Australia, in response to a key recommendation of the 2018 Review of Australia's Sports Integrity Arrangements. This new agency would bring together a range of sports integrity functions that are currently the responsibility of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the national sports integrity unit and Sport Australia.
The establishment of such an agency was a key recommendation of the 2018 Review of Australia's Sports Integrity Arrangements, known as the Wood review. This bill seeks to implement an important part of the first stage of Australia's response to the 52 recommendations of the Wood review. To paraphrase 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 sport from the many threats it faces.
Australians expect fair, clean and safe sport. Labor are committed to appropriate responses to the real threats facing Australia's sport integrity. Threats to the integrity of sport in Australia evolve and so must government responses to them. The establishment of Sport Integrity Australia through this bill is another step towards further strengthening Australia's defences to any and all threats to Australia's sport integrity. Labor support this bill because we know it is important to invest in protecting the integrity of sport. Sport is an integral part of our Australian way of life—from supporting national teams from the stands or our living rooms to participating in local clubs on the weekends.
Sport has been a constant in my life, and that's why last week I was thrilled to have a tour of the new world-class stadium in Townsville—a 25,000-seat venue that will open this weekend, where the people in Townsville will be able to use the stadium to watch their beloved Cowboys' home games as well as big musical acts like Sir Elton John this weekend. Cowboys fans extend all the way up to Cairns, where the Cowboys' second home is Barlow Park. Last Saturday I went along with a packed crowd to watch the Cowboys play the Broncos. They won by two points, by the way. It was really fantastic to be at the park's footy event where Queenslanders from communities all across remote and regional Far North Queensland came to watch. It was very clear that the tropical rain was not dampening anybody's spirits. They were there to watch and cheer their team because they love being a part of sport. Most Australians have a connection to sport in some way and get a lot of value from it. Sport is exercise, it brings people together and it offers economic value to our community. That is why it is important that government support the development of sport everywhere for everyone.
It is therefore disappointing that, at the same time that this government is calling for more integrity in sport, it has not led by example. Instead, this government rigged the Community Sport Infrastructure grants to win votes. It was set up to be a merit based funding program, and Sport Australia was tasked with independently assessing project applications from sporting clubs. Sport Australia provided their recommendations to the sports minister based on the grant criteria. Unfortunately, we know now that those recommendations were thrown in the bin. Instead, this government, or the minister's office, instituted a colour-coded spreadsheet of each application, coded by political party and, very importantly, by electorate and whether that electorate was marginal or a target electorate. That spreadsheet, we know now, was sent back and forth between the minister's office and the Prime Minister's office. We were coming up to an election and the government saw an opportunity to exploit the very thing that Australians consider should be fair.
In the first round of funding, 41 per cent of the grants the minister handed out were not endorsed by Sport Australia. In the second and third rounds, as the election got closer, this increased to 70 per cent and 73 per cent respectively. Approximately 43 per cent of the clubs awarded funding were ineligible at the time the agreement was signed. Sport Australia warned the minister that her interference was compromising its independence, but she persisted anyway. When the truth finally came out, the new sports minister, Minister Colbeck, was more concerned with where the leak of the spreadsheet had come from than the conduct of his own colleagues.
This government still refuses to acknowledge what we already know—that the grants were handed out in a biased way to marginal and target seats just before the election to shore up votes that would win the government election but that would not give sports grants to clubs that desperately needed them. These are not professional clubs. They're mums and dads and volunteers, and they spent hours writing applications for local sports teams. They thought their grant applications would be considered on merit against everybody else's. They expected a level playing field. They were told: if they had a go, they'd get a go. But we know that that isn't true.
In addition to the $100 million in grants that were misused under this government's scandalous sports rorts scheme, we also now know that an additional $150 million was spent in marginal seats on swimming pools. Regional and remote communities were flagged in the program's brief as 'key stakeholders'—the regional and remote communities that desperately need this funding, the regional and remote communities that members of this government say they represent—but less than $10 million was actually allocated to rural electorates, whilst Liberal-held, non-rural seats got nearly $110 million of that funding. We now know that this government blatantly abused at least a quarter of a billion dollars in public funds in its desperate attempt to boost its votes in marginal electorates in the lead-up to the election, and who missed out? Mums and dads in sporting clubs in rural and regional areas.
The funding was supposed to be used to develop female change room facilities at sporting grounds and community swimming facilities around Australia, but, when it came to sports rorts 2, no guidelines were even released and no applications were ever called for. Instead, the government pumped more than $100 million into pools for marginal coalition-held electorates. Less than 15 per cent of that funding was actually spent on female change rooms. How many times have we seen the Prime Minister and members of this government stand up in this house, in media conferences, and say that they rorted the system because of female change rooms—because they didn't want women getting changed in sheds? But, when we look at those figures, we know, and the women who are still getting changed in sheds know, that that had nothing to do with these funding decisions.
Quite frankly, female sport deserves better. The government have disgracefully tried to pretend that they had a program aimed at spending money on women's change rooms. I know that women in Innisfail, at the Rugby League club there, in rural and regional Australia, still don't have their change rooms. These are the women that the Prime Minister said he was doing this program for. That's what he said: 'That is why we did it.' Yet a club in Innisfail, which scored 75 from Sport Australia and was recommended for funding, missed out. This government is faking its interest in women's sport, but the women of Australia can spot a dive when they see one. Australians expect integrity in sport and in their government. They expect it both on and off the field and they expect that if they have a go they will get a go.
Labor does support this bill, but it is galling of this government to bring in a bill about sports integrity when they haven't even tabled documents and reports about their own sports rorts scandal. They have an opportunity this week in the Senate to come in here and rectify that problem—to fess up, to give those mums and dads the answers they have been asking for and to fess up to the women of Australia who are still getting changed in sheds and tents out the back. Whether they do that or not is a question of this government's integrity. We know that this government have no integrity. We know that they refuse to answer questions when they're asked. We know that they refuse to do the right thing. This bill must be passed. It introduces good regimes in sport. But it is galling that the government are in here talking about sports integrity when they have none of it.
From hearing the very end of Senator Green's commentary on the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019 I appreciate that the Labor Party agrees that action needs to be taken. It did take a very long time to get there, and we know definitely how she and her colleagues feel about other areas of sport. Certainly there are Senate committees looking into that, so I won't waste the Senate's time talking about that. I'm here to talk about the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019.
The introduction of this bill is an important signal that our government remains firmly committed to protecting Australia's sporting integrity. Sport plays a fundamental role in Australian life. Around the world we are known for our sporting success and for our commitment to fair play and integrity. Sport has shaped our culture and our identity as Australians. It reflects our broader values of sportsmanship and respect for the umpire. Safe, fair and inclusive sport is part of the Australian identity. Those values also underpin thriving communities.
From grassroots to the world's iconic grass courts and arenas, sport gives us our heroes. It allows us to collectively aspire to greatness while celebrating effort, hard work and perseverance. Sport keeps us fit and healthy. It is the social glue that binds us together. It creates communities and underpins much of community life. Particularly in regional areas such as mine, sport is integral to the social fabric of a region.
Sport is also an essential part of our economy, as highlighted by the Boston Consulting Group's Intergenerational review of Australian sport 2017. Each year around 14 million Australians participate in some form of sporting activity. Sport generates $35 billion to $47 billion of economic activity, which is about two to three per cent of GDP and is equivalent to the agriculture sector, which I'm also passionate about. In addition, each year the Australian government invests in sport. It invests more than $300 million to support our high-performance sports. The government is very proud of its record of encouraging greater participation at community and grassroots levels. We want to get more Australians active. Sport and physical activity teach much about life skills—teamwork, sportsmanship, community spirit and a fair go.
On 5 August 2017 the then Minister for Sport, Greg Hunt, announced a review of Australia's sports integrity arrangements to be led by the Hon. James Wood QC. The Wood review, released in August 2018, was part of the development of Australia's first comprehensive national sport plan called Sport 2030. On behalf of the government I'd like to thank the Hon. James Wood and his fellow panel members for their efforts in producing the most comprehensive review of Australia's sports integrity arrangements ever conducted.
The Wood review found that, amongst athletes at all levels, doping is more prevalent and widespread than ever. This is fuelled in large part by the increasing availability of highly sophisticated techniques that make it harder to detect. The Wood review also found serious and organised crime is involved in the supply of performance- and image-enhancing drugs. The current suite of protections and powers under the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Act 2006 is not sufficient to facilitate ASADA's increasing emphasis on intelligence based investigations.
Under our nation's first-ever sports plan, Sport 2030, we now have a clear path to build a more active Australia that operates with integrity. We can achieve sporting excellence and back grassroots community sports at the same time, and we need to safeguard the integrity of sport. We need to strengthen and build a thriving Australian sport and recreation industry. The government's introduction of this bill is an important signal that the Liberals and Nationals remain firmly committed to protecting Australian sporting integrity. The Wood review provides a sobering assessment of the sports integrity environment and the consequences of inaction and outlines a detailed road map to provide the protection that Australian sport deserves. The Wood review seeks to protect that fair go element that is critical to the Australian image of ourselves.
A key recommendation of the review which was welcomed and accepted by government is that a new agency be established to draw together and develop existing sports integrity capabilities, knowledge and expertise. This bill will establish Sport Integrity Australia. So, from July 2020, Sport Integrity Australia will support sports stakeholders to manage the spectrum of sports integrity related issues. Sport Integrity Australia will bring together the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, or ASADA, the National Integrity of Sport Unit and the sports integrity functions within Sport Australia. It will establish a single point of responsibility for the range of sports integrity functions currently performed by these separate agencies. Sport Integrity Australia will become a one-stop shop engaging with and supporting all sports integrity stakeholders to combat all modern threats to the integrity of sport. Its initial focus will be on regulation, monitoring and intelligence, from policy development to education and delivery.
Without integrity underpinning our sporting competitions and events, we risk losing the great benefits that our sports deliver. Doping remains a scourge for sport right across the world. Match fixing is a global concern. Just as technological advancement has increased access to live sport through live streaming, phones and the like, so too has technological advancement increased the opportunities for unscrupulous, well-organised criminals to try to influence sporting outcomes. This is far beyond a poorly executed paint job on a ring-in horse at a suburban track. This is complex. It's globalised criminal operators manipulating parts of matches, participants, teams and officials. Organised crime is not just exploiting and undermining elite sport; it has infiltrated domestic and suburban competitions. Criminal elements are corrupting officials and athletes and cheating sports fans. Sports integrity requires a nationally coordinated response. Bullying and harassment remain prevalent and a concern, and, sadly, there are those in sport who will also prey on children. So Australia is not immune from these problems. Sporadically, the back-page news becomes front-page headlines when major sports are rocked by scandal. While we are world leaders in the fight against sports integrity threats, more needs to be done.
So I'm proud to be part of a government that takes these matters very seriously and is doing more. Our response will protect our cherished Australian sports for generations to come and will have lasting effects on the lives of all sports-loving Australians. I would think there is a lot of bipartisan goodwill around making sure our sport here in Australia is clean, safe and fair. I'm sure those sitting opposite share that aspiration for integrity in sports. This bill will help safeguard Australian sport and combat current, emerging and future threats from doping, match fixing, illegal betting, organised crime and corruption. This bill is to address all of that. Our government is absolutely committed to ensuring Australia has the highest possible standards of sports integrity so that Australians can trust that competitions and athletes are competing on a level playing field. Our aim is to keep all athletes—from the elite athletes to the juniors, from those playing on the MCG to those playing on the Deniliquin Oval—safe and involved, knowing that the sports in which they participate are clean and fair.
Sporting organisations will have greater access to integrity education, right down to community levels. They will have access to clearer, faster, transparent and cost-effective resolution of disputes, resulting in administrative and financial savings. Enhanced match-fixing detection and response will reassure sports that their competitions are less likely to be manipulated. Parents and guardians of our junior athletes will know that their children are protected from sport integrity threats and that they can be confident that the sports in which they participate are clean, fair and safe. Law enforcement agencies will benefit from improved coordination and clear, cohesive national-level regulation and legislation for match fixing and related corruption. They will benefit from improved information and from the enhanced sport integrity criminal intelligence capability of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. Wagering providers will be involved in alerting authorities to suspicious activity within betting markets, enabling real-time action to be taken to ensure the integrity of competitions they are offering markets on.
This government's record on safeguarding sport is there for the world to see. Twelve months ago, then sports minister Senator Bridget McKenzie signed the Australian government on to the Macolin convention, alongside Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary of the Council of Europe. The Macolin convention is the only multilateral treaty specifically aimed at combating match fixing and related corruption in sport. Australia was a key contributor to the drafting of the convention, and we are the first country outside Europe to sign up. This signing was a major step in protecting the safety, fairness and integrity of the sporting competitions we all enjoy so much.
By engaging formally with the parties to the Macolin convention, Australia is empowered to create a fully effective national platform to enhance detection of and coordinate responses to match fixing and related corruption in Australian sport and sports competitions. Membership of the Macolin community will enable Australia to obtain formal, ongoing access to international counterparts and meetings to work together and drive those measures to combat sport corruption at a global level. We can work to pass national match-fixing criminal legislation and support an effective global response to international sport integrity matters. Signing the Macolin convention supports national match-fixing criminal legislation, complements similar laws, where they already exist within our states and territories, and brings consistency to the national ability to protect sport from wagering related corruption.
This bill is integral to ensuring that sport in this nation remains fair, safe and balanced. I commend this bill to the chamber.
I'm pleased to speak in support of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019, as it addresses important issues for our country. This bill implements a key recommendation of the 2018 review of Australia's sports integrity arrangements, led by the Hon. James Wood AO QC—that is, the recommendation to give one agency responsibility for several sports integrity functions of the Australian government.
So, why is sport so important? There are a few reasons. Sport is big business. The global sports market, not including wagering, has an estimated turnover of US$1.5 trillion. The overall size of the sports market in Australia was estimated to be $27 billion in 2015, including the $10 billion annually that Australians pay for participation in sport and other physical activity. The Intergenerational review of Australian sport 2017 estimated the sector's contribution to the Australian economy to be two to three per cent of gross domestic product, employing more than 220,000 people. Sport also attracts around 1.8 million volunteers—a massive number, considering that the number of people volunteering Australia-wide was estimated at only twice that number in the last census.
The sports wagering market, which was a particular focus of the Wood review, is growing rapidly and had an estimated turnover of $9.7 billion in 2015-16. This was a 35 per cent increase from the previous year—by far, the fastest growth for any Australian gambling sector. If you throw racing into the mix, the turnover reached a staggering $28.1 billion in 2015-16. So, whether it is TV rights, wagering, sponsorship, ticket sales, membership subscription or any other aspect of financing sport, from the elite level right down to the grassroots, sport is one of Australia's biggest industry sectors.
Like any business, we expect sport to be conducted in a genuinely competitive environment. We expect a level playing field. We know that, like any other area of business, success in sport leads to commercial advantages, sponsorship, prize money and promotion in higher levels of competition. Just like any other area of business, people who do the right thing suffer when others get an advantage by unfair means. In sport, unfair advantage can include such things as match-fixing, bribery, taking performance-enhancing substances or other forms of cheating. When a club or athlete benefits financially from these offences, it means that others who are playing fair lose out. But the consequences aren't just financial.
Another reason that sport integrity is important is because of the way sport is woven into the daily lives of Australians. It is an integral part of our culture. The intergenerational review found that 90 per cent of Australian adults have an interest in sport and that 8.4 million adults and three million children participate in sport each year. It's a great Aussie tradition to go to sports matches on the weekend, to watch grand finals over a barbie with family and friends or to make weekly trips to junior sports matches with the kids. Most Australians have some kind of connection to sport, even if it's just sitting on the couch watching footy or playing a game of backyard cricket at a family barbecue.
The fact is that when people cheat in sport—whether its through doping, bribery or match-fixing—it lessens our enjoyment as participants or as spectators. If we lose trust in the integrity of sport, we lose interest. And, if we lose interest, we stop playing, we stop attending and we stop watching. But sport itself is not the only victim when this happens. A drop in participation also means the loss of many benefits that come with sport. It has consequences for the health and wellbeing of Australians, it has consequences for community cohesiveness and social inclusion, and it has consequences for the Australian economy. The danger is summarised in the Wood review as follows:
Without the presence of a comprehensive, effective and nationally coordinated response capability, the hard-earned reputation of sport in this country risks being tarnished, along with a potential reduction in participation rates and a diminution in the social, cultural and economic value of Australia’s significant investment in sport.
Emerging threats to sport integrity are nothing new. Australia has had its fair share of scandals in elite sport over the years, and each scandal usually brings with it a collective feeling of disappointment and betrayal.
Some notable examples of scandals in recent history include the controversy in 1994 and 1995 when a bookmaker gave money to Australian cricketers for pitch and weather information; the 2002 Carlton Football Club and 2010 Melbourne Storm salary cap breaches; the 2013 report of the Australian Crime Commission, which reported that organised crime had infiltrated sports, including Rugby League and Australian Rules football, to distribute prohibited substances; also in 2013, the Melbourne Football Club tanking scandal; in 2016, the suspension of 34 Essendon Football Club players over their use of prohibited substances; and, in 2018, ball tampering—the scandal which saw three members of Australia's cricket team suspended.
There are also emerging global threats to integrity in sport that have the potential to affect sport in Australia. To highlight some of these threats to integrity, the Wood review report quoted a 2016 report by Transparency International entitled Global Corruption Report: Sport. The report stated:
Referees and athletes can take bribes to fix matches. Club owners can demand kickbacks for player transfers. Companies and governments can rig bids for construction contracts. Organised crime is behind many of the betting scandals that have dented sport's reputation. And money laundering is widespread. This can take place through sponsorship and advertising arrangements. Or it may be through the purchase of clubs, players and image rights. Complex techniques are used to launder money through football and other sports. These include cross-border transfers, tax havens and front companies.
So the sport integrity environment is constantly changing as new threats emerge.
It was noted in the Wood review that the current threat environment includes growing links between organised crime and sports wagering. Doping in sport continues to be widespread, with almost 2,000 antidoping rule violations recorded by the World Anti-Doping Agency in 2015 across 122 nationalities and 85 sports. As doping detection is becoming more sophisticated, so are the techniques used by athletes to avoid detection.
When Labor were in government, we also recognised the constantly evolving sport integrity environment and the need to evaluate and improve upon Australia's sports integrity measures. The review process builds on a couple of important initiatives by the previous Labor government—namely, establishing the National Integrity of Sport Unit in 2012 and strengthening ASADA's powers in 2013. I would like to commend Mr Wood and his panel on an excellent report, which included 52 recommendations for the government.
The government announced a two-stage approach to implementing the recommendations of the Wood review. The first stage is the subject of this bill: bringing together a range of sport integrity functions under one agency, Sport Integrity Australia. The functions that are proposed to be looked after by SIA are currently the responsibility of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority—or ASADA—the National Integrity of Sport Unit and Sport Australia.
As the Wood review notes, creating SIA will draw together the knowledge and expertise that is brought to bear in defending sport integrity. It will also assist in coordinating all the elements of the response to sport integrity threats, including prevention, monitoring, detection, investigation and enforcement. The second stage would then establish mechanisms to achieve the full suite of sports integrity capabilities proposed by the Wood review. The government, I note, has already started work on part of stage two, as we saw the reforms aimed at enhancing Australia's antidoping capability introduced to parliament at the same time as this bill. That legislation is now before a Senate inquiry.
Protecting integrity in sport has bipartisan support, and Labor will continue the bipartisan approach by supporting this bill. I'd like to acknowledge the extensive work done by our shadow minister for sport, Senator Farrell, in informing Labor's position on the bill, including consulting with stakeholders and looking at submissions to the Senate inquiry into the bill. It's only fair to also acknowledge the current minister for sport, Senator Colbeck, and the former minister, Senator McKenzie, for their cooperation in facilitating briefings to the opposition on the Wood review and their response to its recommendations.
I note that the bill's financial impact statement indicates no net cost to government for this bill. This is because SIA will be funded from existing appropriations which are being spent on the agencies that are currently carrying out its functions. As I said before, this legislation is about ensuring a level playing field for clubs and athletes. It's about ensuring that the benefits of sport and health and social and economic matters are maximised. In a fair sports environment, the success or failure of sports clubs and their athletes should depend on factors such as the community benefits at the club, the dedication of the volunteers and the determination and skill of their athletes. It should not depend on cheating and it should not depend on politics.
While I welcome this legislation, I can't help but be somewhat amused by the use of the words 'sport integrity' in the bill's title given what transpired shortly before the last election. Does both the irony and the hypocrisy go unnoticed by those opposite when they talk about strengthening integrity in sport yet show so little integrity when it comes to their rorting of sports grants programs? As commendable as it is for the government to work to implement the Wood review and to tackle corruption in sport, their sports rorts scandal undermines this effort.
Those opposite legislate to tackle corruption in sport while they themselves are engaged in corrupting grant processes. We had the first sports rorts program, the Community Sport Infrastructure grants, where a merit based program usurped by a political process. Advantage was given to sports clubs not according to the benefits they could deliver for increasing participation in sport or for enriching their local communities, but on politics and geography. And while the original funding recommendations made by Sport Australia were about maximising the social and economic benefits of the funding, the decisions ultimately made by the minister were about maximising the political benefits to the Liberal and National parties. We know this because the member for Nicholls told us. We also know because this was the finding of a comprehensive report of the Auditor-General, a report which, by the way, also found that almost half of the projects were ineligible when they received funding. And it wasn't just the then minister's grubby fingerprints all over the crime scene. The Prime Minister's office and potentially a number of those opposite were involved too—to what extent, we will hopefully learn from the current Senate inquiry. As much as those opposite tried to protest that another report absolves them of the Auditor-General's finding, Mr Gaetjens' report is an absolute sham, and they know it. Those on that side of the chamber know that they cannot rely on a secret report written by the Prime Minister's former chief of staff.
Sadly though, the Community Sports Infrastructure program wasn't the end of these rorts. After the first sports rorts affair, the government then rolled out the female facilities and water safety program. This was sports rorts version 1 on steroids, with a whopping 40 per cent of the $150-million program going to two marginal electorates. The actions of those opposite in using supposedly merit based sports programs as a political slush fund undermine the good work that this bill and the remaining implementation of the Wood review seeks to do. It's no wonder that so many Australians are feeling bewildered and betrayed by the actions of this government.
I do commend the bill to the Senate, but in doing so I implore those opposite, 'Don't speak with forked tongue.' If you're going to work to ensure integrity in sport, then this needs to extend to sports infrastructure funding too. It's time to come clean about the sports rorts affair, admit it was a rort and promise that a transparent, merit based approach will be taken to future sports infrastructure funding programs. Until the Libs and Nationals come clean about this scandal, it's hard to say that they are taking all aspects of integrity in sport seriously. Having said that, we welcome this bill, and Labor will continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure the establishment and operation of SIA are delivering on the outcomes the agency is tasked with achieving. We will also continue to monitor the government's response to the recommendations of the Wood review. The government's response needs to be as strong as possible to protect the important role that sport plays in the Australian economy, society and our way of life now and into the future.
I table an addendum to the explanatory memorandum relating to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Sport Integrity Australia) Bill 2019. The addendum responds to concerns raised by the Scrutiny of Bills Committee.
I would like to thank senators for their contributions to this piece of legislation. As has been said in the chamber a number of times, Australians love their sport, and we expect our sport to be clean. When it isn't, it damages the confidence that participants and viewers have in the games they hold close to their hearts. In order to effectively identify and react to escalating risks in sport, it is essential that a cohesive, well-resourced, national-level capability is in place. The government is responding to these risks by cohesively drawing together existing sporting integrity capabilities to establish Sport Integrity Australia, with a focus on policy and program delivery, education, outreach and antidoping monitoring and intelligence. Sport Integrity Australia will be well placed to assist the sporting community prevent and address identified threats in sport.
I know that Australian sport is cherished by so many Australians, and this government is committed to comprehensively protecting Australian sport for the benefit of the community and for generations to come. Again, I thank members for their contribution to the debate on this bill and I commend the bill to the Senate.