6.1 The Australian Government should develop and fund a national volunteer program for sporting and physical activity organisations that aims to attract and retain volunteers to sport through education, accreditation and recognition, and in particular takes account of the potential offered by the growing number of older Australians to become volunteers.
The Australian Government will implement a National Sport Volunteer Plan to better strategically engage, support, train and recognise our sport volunteers. This Plan will support and contribute to the Government’s National Volunteering Strategy currently being developed in the lead-up to 2011, the 10th anniversary of the United Nations International Year of Volunteering.
6.2 The Australian Government should establish and fund a national scheme that encourages past high-performance scholarship holders (Australian Institute of Sport and state and territory institutes and academies of sport) to volunteer within community sport organisations as coaches, managers, administrators and mentors.
In recognition of the unique role that athletes play in our community in inspiring our nation, especially our kids, the
Government will implement two new initiatives:
- Require AIS scholarship-holders to volunteer at local community sporting clubs or junior sport programs in the capacity of coach, official or administrator to support grassroots sport development
- Establish resources within the ASC to connect retired and current athletes with charity, government or non-government organisations delivering a range of initiatives that aim to strengthen our community. Under the initiative the ASC will provide a mechanism for athletes to register their interest and provide a matchmaking service with relevant programs.
6.3 The Australian Government, in consultation with the state and territory governments, should develop a strategic national facilities initiative for the funding and development of Australia’s community sport and recreation facilities over the next decade.
Government ResponseSupported in Principle.
The Australian Government will work with the states and territories to assemble data on the sport and recreation facility needs and priorities of communities and regions to better inform planning and funding decisions.
6.4 The Australian Government should establish a national sport facilities fund with an initial allocation of $250 million each year for four years, to begin the implementation of the strategic national facilities initiative in partnership with state, territory and local governments and the private sector, where appropriate.
Government ResponseNot supported.
The Australian Government has already made significant investments in community infrastructure since coming to Government, which will continue to make a significant contribution to sport in this country, both at the community and high performance levels. This support ranges from funding to assist projects to develop small community facilities in regional and urban areas, to projects to develop major sporting venues.
The Government has provided over $1 billion under the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP), under which over $300 million was provided to support community sport and local clubs, the biggest single investment in sporting infrastructure in this nation’s history.
Under the Building the Education Revolution (BER) the Government is providing $16.2 billion to provide world-class educational facilities, through new infrastructure and refurbishments, to Australian schools including sport facilities.
The Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) provides for tax-deductible corporate and community donations towards specific community sporting projects when they are registered with the Foundation, and encourages donations from individuals in the community. The effectiveness of the ASF will be reviewed to determine the best structure, governance and strategy required to deliver consistent and better coordinated funds to the sporting sector.
6.5 The national sport facilities fund should have an initial focus on drought-proofing assets that are determined to be of ‘high priority’.
Government ResponseNot supported.
See response to Recommendation 6.4.
6.6 In any infrastructure program, preference should be given to projects that have the potential to engage wide sections of the community, such as multi-sport facilities in proximity to other community infrastructure, to help with sustainability and to increase social capital.
The Australian Government notes this recommendation in the context of its response to Recommendation 6.4.