McGowan Government rejects Eastern States push for sport control

18 August 2017
The McGowan Government will today oppose plans to centralise funding and control of Australian sport in the Eastern States at the annual Meeting of Sport and Recreation Ministers in Sydney.
  • Federal Government seeks centralised control of Australian sport
  • McGowan Government rules out changes which would leave WA worse off.


Sweeping changes to how high performance sport, including the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS), is governed and funded will be presented at the meeting by the Federal Government.

The proposed system would impose a centralised, 'top-down' power structure based overwhelmingly in the Eastern States, where the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Sports Commission and most national sporting organisations are headquartered.

Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray will attend the meeting and has ruled out accepting any deal which would leave Western Australian sport funding or governance worse off.

The meeting will consider changes to how the lotteries system funds sport at all levels—including grassroots and juniors—through the introduction of a National Lottery, as well as a proposed National Sports Plan.

Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:

"Any proposal that takes decision-making and funding control out of WA is not something the State Government will support.

"Funding and sport decision-making needs to start at a local community club level, then through State-based associations and institutes such as WAIS and finally at a national level.

"The GST situation tells us everything we need to know about what Eastern States control would mean for Western Australian sport funding.

"WA sport clubs want government support, not government control. They certainly don't want to take instructions from a bureaucrat in Sydney or Canberra who has no understanding of the unique characteristics of their sport in this State.

"We will support Federally led initiatives to align national strategies and strengthen our sporting partnerships, but not when they isolate and alienate grassroots community sporting clubs and local sporting associations."