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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 15815

Australia's Top Sporting Bodies Support the National Binge Drinking Strategy

Photo of Rudd, Kevin

Rudd, Kevin

Period of Service: 03/12/2007 to 24/06/2010

More information about Rudd, Kevin on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/03/2008

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 15815

The Australian Government and the nations six major sporting bodies have today agreed to work together to help address binge drinking among young people.

This historic partnership will see the Australian Football League, Australian Rugby Union, the National Rugby League, the Football Federation of Australia, Cricket Australia and Netball Australia working together with the Australian Government to support the National Binge Drinking Strategy.

Four new initiatives announced today under the Australian Government's National Binge Drinking Strategy represent the first steps in this partnership:

* $2 million will be invested in ‘Club Champions' - two members from each major club competing in the national competitions across all six sports - to help foster leaders in responsible drinking at the elite level.

* $5.2 million will be invested in a significant expansion of the Good Sports initiative of the Australian Drug Foundation - to support local sporting clubs to build a culture of responsible drinking at the grassroots level.

* The establishment of a nationally consistent code of conduct on alcohol use for peak sporting bodies and community sports organisations, with this to be developed by the sporting codes themselves.

* Australia's six major sporting bodies have offered their support for high-profile sporting personalities to assist in the Government's $20 million hard hitting advertising campaign warning young people of the dangers of binge drinking.

The goal of the partnership announced today will be to work together to reduce binge drinking among young Australians.

This partnership between the Australian Government and Australia's six largest sporting bodies will build on the hard work and strong campaigns already being carried out by parents and other community groups.

The basis for today's discussion was material provided by the sporting body CEOs on the range of initiatives they already have in place to promote the responsible use of alcohol.

There is a lot of good work already underway and today we have agreed to partner together to take this existing good work further.

It is simply unacceptable that, in any given week, around 170,000 12 to 17 year olds reported binge drinking or drinking at harmful levels.

Australia's key sporting CEOs have today made it clear that they are prepared to play a leadership role in tackling binge drinking among our young people.

This sends a very important and positive message to the community.

Club Champions

Club Champions is a $2 million initiative that will support each club in the leading national competitions to nominate two people - one a senior player in the leadership group and the other a sports scientist (eg, dietician, psychologist) - to lead the way in promoting responsible alcohol use.

Club Champions will attend an initial symposium at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, where they will receive the very latest information and guidance about how to encourage responsible alcohol practices.

This will be backed up with follow-up support to assist them in sharing and applying this information within their clubs and sports.

Bodies such as the Australian Institute of Sport have world-leading expertise in this area and Club Champions will take advantage of this.

Good Sports

The $5.2 million expansion of the successful Good Sports program, an initiative of the Australian Drug Foundation, supports responsible drinking at the grassroots level.

Local sporting clubs are an important part of the solution to tackling the culture of binge drinking, particularly for our young people.

Good Sports helps local sporting clubs manage alcohol responsibly and reduce alcohol related problems such as binge and underage drinking.

Displaying the Good Sports logo sends an important message to club members and the community. It confirms that the club promotes a responsible attitude towards alcohol and that it provides a safe environment for players, members, families and supporters.

Good Sports is recognised for its extensive research and its reliance on evidence. This announcement will extend its reach to clubs right across the nation.

Nationally consistent code of conduct

The major sporting bodies today agreed to work together to develop a nationally consistent code of conduct for the responsible use of alcohol.

This code will build on the existing codes of conduct being developed by the sporting codes and will produce a harmonised code across sports.

The bodies have also proposed that they play a leadership role in disseminating a national code of conduct to ensure that it reaches the local level.

The Australian Government welcomes that commitment and looks forward to receiving the proposal in coming months.

The Australian Government is committed to tackling binge drinking on a number of fronts.

Transcript 15815