Greens introduce Level Playing Field Bill to correct sports rorts injustice


Today the Greens will introduce a bill to empower Sport Australia to fund the sports clubs whose applications they recommended under the Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program, but were not funded by then-Minister McKenzie.

The Australian Sports Commission Amendment (Ensuring a Level Playing Field) Bill 2020 will correct the injustice of the Coalitions sports rorts scheme.

Quotes attributable to Senator Janet Rice, Greens spokesperson for Sport

“The sports rorts scandal isn’t over. While the Prime Minister is trying his best to duck and weave about his role in this saga, there are still hundreds of sports clubs around Australia who deserved funding but haven’t received a cent. 

“The clubs that were recommended for funding by Sports Australia were robbed so that the Coalition could repurpose tax-payer money as a slush fund to buy elections. The Greens Level Playing Field Bill will correct this injustice for those community sports clubs. 

“Many of the sports clubs have lost trust in government and felt utterly cheated by the Coalition’s corrupt process. 

“This Bill won’t fix the Coalition’s failure of transparency or their active subversion of our democracy. But it will make a real difference to these clubs and communities. 

“During the COVID-19 crisis, sports clubs are now in more need of support. Most of the projects are shovel-ready, and this Bill will benefit these community sports groups by providing much-needed investment stimulus in the face of the pandemic.”

“The Senate inquiry into the Administration of Sports Grants received answers yesterday that showed the Minister lacked independent authority to issue grants, instead ‘piggybacking’ on Sport Australia’s authority to do so. My Bill ensures that the Sports Minister would not have the power to direct the Commission on this new round of funding.

“As the Deputy Chair of the inquiry, I am eager to hear from Senator McKenzie. I  urge her to accept the invitation to appear before the committee in a hearing next month.”