Bob Kucera

Bob Kucera

Former Minister for Disability Services; Sport and Recreation; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests; Seniors

    Joint Statement: Sport and Recreation Ministers Council Communique

    12/11/2004 2:34 PM
     
    12/11/04

    The following communique was released by the State, Federal and Territory Sport and Recreation Ministers at today's meeting in Perth.

    OBESITY AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY LEVELS REMAIN A CHALLENGE: AUSTRALIAN SPORT MINISTERS

    State, federal and territory sport and recreation ministers said that the continuing challenge of rising obesity levels and the need to increase physical activity among Australians remained a considerable concern.

    The recently announced Australian Government’s Active After School Communities Program will provide a level of focus for physical activity opportunities for children between 3pm and 5pm weekdays. Each State and Territory is taking steps to address the problem on a number of fronts.

    Ministers endorsed the declaration by the United Nations of 2005 as the Year of Sport and Physical Education, commenting that it would add an important dimension to Australia’s physical activity and participation message, whilst encouraging strong physical education and sport programs within schools

    They also identified the health, education and transport portfolios as having a significant stake in providing solutions.

    They noted that sport and physical activity could provide significant social benefits and opportunities across the community including for children, multicultural groups, women, seniors, Indigenous Australians and people with disabilities.

    The Ministers said that the Australian Sports Foundation was a tax effective vehicle to encourage community sport and recreation facility development.

    The next time the Ministers meet in 2005 they have agreed to examine school sport as one of their priorities.

    Sporting Integrity
    The Ministers’ Council meeting agreed that sport should reflect the social, moral and ethical standards by which all Australians aspire to live.

    They said that the sport industry had responded to issues of integrity and moral behaviour but there was still some work to do.

    The Ministers encouraged decision makers in sport to continue to take a stronger stance against negative behaviour and to develop and maintain a culture within sporting codes to reflect the community’s expectations -- particularly those of parents.

    The Ministers said it was important that sports administrators turn policies into practical action and implement them at all levels of sport.

    The Ministers also discussed Australia’s response to drugs in sport; our performance at the 2004 Athens Olympic and Paralympic Games and the opportunities to capitalise on the success there; the effect of public liability reforms; and the way sport is managed.

    The Ministers observed that the Commonwealth and each state and territory had significant capacity to address these issues and encouraged the continued sharing of information and knowledge between jurisdictions.
    It was noted that any anti-social behaviour linked with sport was unacceptable. The Ministers were concerned that this did not become a common part of our sporting culture.

    It was agreed that elite athletes had a responsibility to act as role models for improved behaviour both on and off the field. This was a battle that had to be fought on many fronts and should start at junior levels and continue on into national and international competition.

    Keeping Sport Clean
    The Ministers reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to the World Anti-Doping Code. They agreed that constant vigilance was necessary so that the community could be confident that Australian sport was clean and to remove any doubt about the character and integrity of state, national and international sports representatives and their performances.

    The Ministers reflected on Australia’s outstanding performance at the 2004 Athens Olympics. They agreed that all states would continue to pursue excellence in high performance sport with the primary outcome being an increase in Australia’s success at the international and Olympic level. Preparations for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games were well advanced and planning was already underway for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    Fare Equalisation
    Ministers supported the principle of fare equalisation and would encourage national sporting organisations to develop a fare equalisation scheme.

    Insurance
    All Ministers noted the level of legislative reform made to deal with the public liability and risk management issue.

    In many areas premiums have stabilised and the Ministers noted that a number of national sporting organisations had achieved more cost effective cover through insurance pooling arrangements. Ministers were also encouraged with the heightened level of awareness among sport and recreation organisations of the need to implement risk management practices.

    Governance
    Community level sport and recreation is an integral part of Australian society and each State and Territory noted the move by many sports to embrace modern management practices. This was in line with the community’s expectation that clubs and organisations would be well-run and good stewards with their available resources.

    All Ministers agreed that their respective governments had a role to play to build capacity in this area among volunteer based organisations, and that the tools were in place to make this occur.

    The Ministers commented that it was necessary to balance community ownership of sport and recreation with sound management and commercial practices.

    WA Sport and Recreation Minister's office: 08 9213 7000