Industry, Science & Tourism




A Winning Advantage - The Coalition’s sport and recreation policy provides extended funding for Australian sport. It is a policy to provide increased opportunity for Australians at all levels, from elite sports to individuals participating in sport and recreational activity.


A Winning Advantage

Table of Contents

Executive Summary *

Labor’s Record *

Highlights of the Government’s Achievements *

Sport and Recreation *

Sydney 2000 Games and Commonwealth Games *

Drugs in Sport *

A Winning Advantage *

A Sports Funding *

B Drugs in Sport *

C The 2000 Olympic Games *

D Paralympians *

E Post 2000 *

F 2006 Commonwealth Games *

G Encouraging Stronger Participation *

H Older Australians *

I Women in Sport *

J Aboriginal and Torres Islanders in Sport *

K Australian Institute of Sport *

L Australian Sports Foundation *

M Tax Reform *


Executive Summary

The Coalition will:

Guarantee support for sport and recreation beyond 2000, by providing more than an additional $144 million for the Australian Sports Commission over five years to 2002-03.

As part of this funding boost, extend funding for the Olympic Athlete Programme into the second half of the year 2000 by $5 million, to ensure that Labor’s poor planning does not leave athletes and coaches out-of-pocket on the eve of the games.

  • Provide over $5 million to boost the fight against drugs in sport.
  • Boost funding for the Australian Paralympic Committee by a further $600,000 to assist preparation of our athletes for the Sydney 2000 Games.
  • Increase the regional focus of participation programmes like Aussie Able and Active Australia, which encourage ‘sport for all’.
  • Establish a stand alone participation programme for Older Australians.
  • Establish a National Sporting Facilities Development Plan by working with the States and Territories in a national audit of facilities, to determine what is needed where with special emphasis on regional areas.
  • Continue to work with the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) and the Sydney Paralympic Organising Committee (SPOC) to ensure that the benefits of the 2000 Games flow to all Australians.
  • Support Melbourne’s bid for the 2006 Commonwealth Game.

Labor’s Record

  • Under Labor, sport and recreation was suffocated by a centralised bureaucracy depriving many athletes of essential funding.

  • Labor directed valuable funding from local communities to buy votes through the ‘sports rorts’ affair.

  • Labor provided no certainty for sports and recreation funding. The Coalition has boosted funding for sport by more than
    $33 million over and above what Labor intended in its last Budget.

Highlights of the Government’s Achievements

Sport and Recreation

  • Increased funding for the Olympic Athlete Programme and Paralympics by $6 million to $26 million per year, assisting our athletes to build upon their medal achievements at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

  • Confirmed the tax exempt status for non-profit sporting clubs, tax averaging provisions for professional sports persons, and clarification of the tax exemption for sporting organisations which undertake some of their activities overseas.

  • Revamped the Australian Sports Foundation to improve its capacity to boost tax deductible donations to sporting organisations for better sporting facilities.

  • Strengthened the national linkages between the various institutes of sport through the National Elite Sports Council.

  • Introduced new Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) programmes including women’s soccer, volleyball, rowing, archery, shooting and wrestling.

  • Funded the AIS Sports Science and Medicine Centre resulting in break-through technology such as the cooling vest used at the Atlanta Olympics and the development of tests which are leading towards detection of banned performance enhancing drugs.

  • Funded the Australian Coaching Council resulting in a record 27,378 coach accreditations in 1996-97.

  • Developed a national framework to encourage increased participation in sport and physical activity called Active Australia. It enlists the support of clubs, schools and local councils to provide the programmes and activities to keep people involved in sport and recreation.


Sydney 2000 Games and Commonwealth Games

  • Extend support for the Sydney 2000 Olympics by including a further $32 million to enable the purchase of a range of services to assist with the staging of the Games.
  • Introduced a programme - Australia Open for Business - to maximise the economic benefits flowing from the Games.
  • Introduced legislation to protect the Sydney Games from ‘ambush marketing’.
  • Supported Melbourne’s bid for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Drugs in Sport

  • Reviewed the Australian Sports Commission and Australian Sports Drug Agency drugs in sport policy and whole of government approach to drugs in sport issues.
  • Provision of an additional $784,000 in the 1998-99 Budget to enable Australian Sports Drug Agency to boost its testing numbers and educational services in the lead up to the Sydney Olympic Games.
  • Introduced technological and process innovation leading to improvement in the distribution of government-funded tests and the provision of athlete testing services which have enhanced the deterrent effect achieved by Australian Sports Drugs Agency.
  • Enabled the application of leading edge detection technology to drug testing through the purchase of a high resolution mass spectrometer.
  • Provided technical support to the Sydney Organising Committee for the Sydney Games for doping control.
  • Established event and out-of-competition testing agreements with international federations and national anti-doping agencies to facilitate the testing of foreign athletes training and competing in Australia in the lead up to the Sydney Olympic Games.

  • Improved communication links between the Australian Customs Service and the Therapeutic Goods Association and Australian Sports Drug Agency to enhance the control of the supply of sports drugs.

A Winning Advantage

A Sports Funding

The Howard/Fischer Government has provided funding to sport of $89.3 million in 1998-99, more than in Labor’s last Budget.

There is a need for ongoing certainty for the sports budget, especially in the years post-2000 – something Labor failed to provide during it’s 13 years in office.

The Coalition will:

  • Guarantee support for sport and recreation beyond 2000, by providing more than an additional $144 million for the Australian Sports Commission over five years to 2002-03.

B Drugs in Sport

The Howard-Fisher Government strongly opposes the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport and has publicly demonstrated its commitment to the fight.

The Coalition not only blocked the appointment of Dr Ekkart Arbeit to Australian Athletics’ head coaching position, but initiated strong new Australian Sports Commission guidelines to minimise the chances of such an event happening again.

The Coalition will:

  • Commit over $5 million to further combat illegal use of drugs in sport. This programme will:
  • Provide $3 million over four years for increased drug testing and detection for the 2000 Games and beyond.

  • Give the Australian Sports Drug Agency extra powers by strengthening the Act.

  • Extend the operations of the Australian Sports Drugs Agency drugs hotline to seven-days-a-week.

  • Finish working with the States and Territories to introduce uniform and harsh penalties for the manufacture, trafficking of dangerous quantities of performance-enhancing drugs, like anabolic steroids.

  • Use the National School Drug Education Strategy to pursue the issue of drugs in sport.

  • Examine a range of nutrition supplements and identify those that exhibit banned performance enhancing properties.

  • Ensure an increased role by the Australian Customs Service in the detection of importations of prohibited substances.

  • Use the Australian Sports Drug Agency to improve the system for assessing applications from athletes to use specified drugs under strict supervision for genuine therapeutic purposes.

  • Encourage a consistent approach to drug use in sport by cooperation with state and territory governments.

  • Enable the Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratory to access state-of-the-art analytical technology and maintain its international Olympic accreditation.

  • Conduct a high-profile education campaign to promote and reinforce the principle that doping is not acceptable in Australian society.

  • Continue research into new and improved methods of drug detection and enable information to be shared with overseas scientists.

  • Host an international symposium on Drugs in Sport in Australia in 1999.


C The 2000 Olympic Games

Sydney’s hosting of the 2000 Games presents Australia with one of its biggest challenges – and opportunities – this millennium.

The exposure - and ensuing tourism, trade and promotional opportunities – the 2000 Games offers Australia overall should reverberate for decades to come.

We have already put Australia on track for sporting success through the Olympic Athlete Programme (OAP).

Labor’s poor planning meant the OAP was going to wind up in June 2000, six months before the contracts of athletes and coaches receiving Commonwealth assistance expired.

This shortfall would have left our Olympic athletes out-of-pocket at the very time when they should have been most focussed on bringing us success.

In a wider sense, the Howard Fischer Government stands strongly by the principle that even though the New South Wales Government is financially underwriting the cost of staging the 2000 Games, the Commonwealth has to do all it can to ensure they are the best the world has ever seen.

That’s why we have met, and in many cases exceeded, all commitments made by the previous Labor government. Our overall commitment is already in excess of $800 million.

No Government is in the business of writing blank cheques. A further $32 million is on offer to the New South Wales Government to offset the provision of Commonwealth services not envisaged in earlier planning, but it is contingent on Games organisers being able to demonstrate that the benefits will flow to all Australians.

Sydney is hosting the Games but they are owned by all Australians.

The Coalition will:

  • Extend funding to the Olympic Athlete Programme into the second half of the 2000 calendar year, injecting an extra $5 million to ensure that Labor’s poor planning does not leave athletes and coaches out-of-pocket on the eve of the games.

  • Provide up to $32 million to the New South Wales Government to offset the cost of Commonwealth services not envisaged in the earlier planning stages.

  • Stage a major trade exhibition to court overseas trade partners by showcasing Australian products, using the National Maritime Museum at Sydney’s Darling Harbour during the 2000 Games.

  • Ensure the Australian Sports Drugs Testing Laboratory in Sydney retains its International Olympic Committee accreditation by undergoing an upgrade to keep pace with changes in doping.

D Paralympians

Our Paralympians are world class. They finished second in the gold medal count at the Atlanta Games and will no doubt exceed that effort in Sydney in 2000.

In the current year, the Australian Sports Commission board boosted funding for paralympians by 66 per cent.

Government funding for Paralympic preparation now stands at $1.25 million, $650,000 more than in the lead-up to Atlanta and more than was ever committed under Labor.

The Government remains determined to ensure our Paralympians are well prepared for future sporting contests, including the Sydney Olympic Games.

The Coalition will:

  • Honour our commitment to underwrite the cost of staging the 2000 Paralympics by up to $25 million.

  • Commit a further $600,000 towards preparation of our Paralympians for the Sydney Games.

E Post 2000

The Howard/Fisher Government’s industry policy statement, Investing for Growth, provided a blueprint for all sectors to realise their potential. With the opportunities offered by the 2000 Games, sport and recreation must be a part of that vision.

The Government wants more effective partnerships with the community, the private sector and to secure those sport and recreation opportunities for all Australians.

Sport in Australia, after the year 2000, is likely to populate a vastly different landscape. Competition for sponsorship at the top levels will be greater in the period immediately after the 2000 Games. Sponsors will be more demanding.

The greater focus on Australia as a result of the 2000 Games is going to mean sport, as an industry, will need to be more outward looking and quick to grabbing export opportunities.

The Howard/Fisher Government has done more than any predecessor in promoting those opportunities through initiatives like Australian Sport International, administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Under the Coalition, Federal funding has been maintained for sport and recreation. At the same time there has been an expansion in the size and scope of the Federal delivery mechanisms.

The Howard/Fisher Government has already conducted extensive consultation with sport and recreation bodies about how they can better access those mechanisms, and recognises the process has to be ongoing to reflect changes.

The Coalition will:

  • Commission a White Paper on Sport and Recreation post-2000, to lay the base for a comprehensive policy statement that addresses principles, defined policy goals and objectives.

  • Evaluate this initiative through regular discussion and briefing and by key stakeholders through regular consultation.


F 2006 Commonwealth Games

Melbourne is well advanced in its bid for the rights to stage the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Australia hosted the Commonwealth Games in Perth in 1962 and in Brisbane in 1982. Most people will remember the tremendous benefits in terms of sports and tourism that the Brisbane Games in particular brought to Australia.

The Howard Government has already provided support totalling $100,000 for the Melbourne bid with further payments totalling $150,000 to be made.

The Coalition will:

  • Maintain its support for Melbourne carrying forward the Australian bid to host the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

G Encouraging Stronger Participation

Participation in sporting and recreational activities provides tangible health benefits to individuals as well as a range of other associated advantages.

By working with the Health and Education portfolios to develop the Active Australia programme, the Howard Government has vigorously encouraged participation in sport by all.

Active Australia is now in 96 per cent of schools, restoring sport and recreation to curricula that were gradually dismantled in some States under Labor.

Since mid-1997 Active Australia has met areas of higher need, such as regional Australia.

The Coalition will:

  • Continue to ensure that participation programmes and support for sporting organisations are enjoyed by all Australians.

  • Increase Active Australia’s presence in regional Australia, including a series of Active Australia Games in regional areas to boost participation in sport.


H Older Australians

Participation in sport and recreation should not be limited by age. Medical evidence overwhelmingly links sound health to regular physical exercise.

Ensuring the provision of adequate and appropriate sporting and recreational opportunities for senior citizens is an important aspect in the maintenance of a healthy, active life for Older Australians.

The Coalition will:

  • Continue working to boost links with peak seniors bodies to bolster access of seniors to sport and recreation

  • Establish a separate programme within the Active Australia framework specifically to promote participation by older Australians in sport and recreation.

  • Conduct a media campaign in conjunction with the Department of Health Services, Veterans Affairs to promote the range of opportunities available.

I Women in Sport

The Howard/Fischer Government has been a strong advocate for boosting participation of women in sport, particularly girls in the mid- to late-teen years.

Australia's first comprehensive Anti-Harassment Policy in sport was completed and released in our first term.

We continue to promote high-profile sportswomen as effective role models to encourage greater female participation in sport and recreation.

Despite commissioning reports like ‘Invisible Games’ to examine the lack of media coverage of women's sport, Labor did little to redress an imbalance.

Labor dismissed concerted efforts by the Minister for the Status of Women to leverage greater representation for women as Australian Olympic attaches.

The Coalition will:

  • Continue to closely consult with established women's sport and recreation networks; and

  • Maintain pressure on Sydney Olympics organisers to ensure women are fairly represented at the executive and board level in SOCOG and as Olympic attaches.

J Aboriginal and Torres Islanders in Sport

Indigenous Australians have made an enormous contribution to sport in Australia. Many of the all-time greats of Australian sport in football, tennis and athletics, to name a few, are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Research shows tangible improvement in health in communities where there are higher levels of participation in sport, which is why the Australian Sports Commission and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission has worked jointly in a number of programmes aimed at encouraging indigenous participation in Sport.

The Coalition will:

  • Provide consultancies to Aboriginal communities where required to ensure efficient delivery of its sports programmes.

K Australian Institute of Sport

A Liberal/National Government established the Australian Institute of Sport as a world standard centre of excellence in sport in 1981.

Under Labor, the administration of sport became bloated. Too much money was spent on building a centralised bureaucracy, at the expense of channelling more funding to athletes.

The Howard Government has turned the Australian Institute of Sport and the Australian Sports Commission into leaner, more efficient operations. Only about 5 per cent of Government money is now spent on administration - less than half of what was squandered under Labor.

Our support for the Australian Institute of Sports Science and Medical Centre has resulted in a test for a synthetic version of a naturally occurring substance which boosts the blood’s ability to carry oxygen (EPO), possibly a world first breakthrough.

The Australian Institute of Sport Canberra campus is home to many sports such as artistic gymnastics, netball, basketball, men's road cycling, women's track and road cycling, rowing, men's soccer, swimming and water polo.

Most sports, however, are now de-centralised with the Australian Institute of Sport operating facilities in Brisbane (diving, softball and squash), Adelaide (men's cricket and men's track cycling), Melbourne (golf and baseball), the Gold Coast (sprint canoeing), Sydney (men's volleyball) and Perth (hockey and women's volleyball).

The Howard/Fischer Government will continue to support this decentralisation. We will continue to foster a genuinely cooperative and constructive partnership with State and Territory Institutes of Sport, the Australian Institute of Sport and private training centres.

We recognise that state-based institutes contribute to the national development of elite sport and that the welfare of some competitors is not always best served by taking them away from their existing support network.

While acknowledging that some support services are of such a specialised nature that they must be centrally maintained to be effective, we recognise the need for a balanced system which maximises opportunities for athletes and coaches.

The Coalition will:

  • Continue to ensure that, wherever possible developing athletes, their parents and coaches have a genuine choice between entering residential Australian Institute of Sport programmes or receiving support for home based training.

  • Utilise the latest in on-line technology to give State and Territory Institutes of Sport and private training centres access to the latest in sports medicine developments and enhance all other aspects of co-operation.


L Australian Sports Foundation

The Australian Sports Foundation was established to provide tax deductibility to people channelling donation through it to support sport.

The Coalition gave the Australian Sport Foundation a new lease of life by re-shaping its board to reflect a greater focus on business, giving it independence from the Australian Sports Commission and establishing a business office in Sydney.

The Coalition will:

  • Continue to support the Australian Sports Foundation through the provision of almost a million dollars in seed funding to assist its relocation and renewed marketing efforts.

M Tax Reform

The Howard/Fischer Government has championed the case for a fairer taxation system for a stronger Australia.

Within weeks of returning to power in 1993, Labor broke its promise to the Australian people not to increase sales tax on sporting equipment.

In two years, Labor increased their hidden taxes to 22 per cent, reaping $132 million a year in revenue from sport.

The Coalition’s tax plan removes Labor’s unfair, hidden taxes.

The Coalition will:

  • Remove Labor’s hidden Wholesale Sales Tax charges of up to 22 per cent on sporting goods and equipment.


Authorised by L. Crosby, Liberal Party of Australia, Corner Blackall & Macquarie Sts, Barton, ACT, 2600