The Senate Committee inquiring into the administration of Sports Grants has accepted our submission and this is now public here:
In addition to the use of grants for political advantage, we pointed out the policy failure in health and wellbeing terms, of giving grants to bodies like wealthy golf clubs.
The ABS National Health Survey 2011-12 found that 63% of Australians over 18 years of age were overweight or obese. An alarming 25% of our children aged 2-17 are considered obese.
Whilst there are advantages in allowing local government and individual organisations to bid for this pot of $132m, the public health objectives are far from clear and there is little policy or analysis of the extent to which programs like this achieve them, if at all.
Much was made by the Prime Minister of the benefits to women of dedicated change rooms, mostly for their entry into Australian football. However recreational walking, gymnasium fitness, swimming, running and cycling are way ahead of football in terms of participation rates, regardless of gender (AIS). Because these are rarely organised activities it is doubtful that these preferred physical activities or gaps therein, were funded by the program.
We also recommended the Parliament adopt a National Integrity System, part of which would be a National Integrity Commission with proper investigative powers, as recommended by the Accountability Round Table