Sport Speaks

After the South Australian State Election we would like to thank the major South Australian Political Parties for their responses and commitments. We appreciate your support of the sports industry and the recent Sport E provided a summary of the points presented at the State Election Meeting on 6th March. 

The Report Cards against the Sport SA State Election Priorities: 

  • Sport Builds 
  • Sport Counts 
  • Sport Leads 

Thank you to the Hon. Leon Bignell, the former Minister for Recreation and Sport. We have seen your commitment to sport with significant infrastructure  announcements from community to high performance across many sports. In addition, I would like to highlight the very successful Sports Vouchers program and also the new innovative ORS Grants program among the initiatives introduced during the term of Labour Government with Hon. Leon Bignell as the Minister. I have enjoyed working with you for Sport and wish you all the best. 

Congratulations to Corey Wingard MP who is the new Minister for Police, Correctional Services, Emergency Services, Road Safety, Recreation and Sport, Racing. We look forward to continue our positive working relationship. 






The 2018 State Election Issues Meeting held last week was an excellent forum to hear from the representatives of the political parties. 
We were provided with insight into the achievements and plans in relation to the priorities identified in “Sport Speaks” and other issues facing the sports industry with presentations by all representatives.  Questions posed by the attendees promoted further discussion with responses from all representatives.
We appreciate the commitment to South Australian sport demonstrated by the representatives of the political parties and are confident that our call “to acknowledge the value, contribution of sport and expanding role by reducing the rising costs of providing sustainable, cost effective sport, available for everyone, anywhere at all time” has been recognised.

Thank you for your support of sport. 
A summary of the points presented at the 2018 State Election Issues Meeting by the political parties representatives is provided.

Thank you to:
Hon Leon Bignell MP, Minister for Recreation and Sport
Corey Wingard MP, Shadow Minister for Recreation and Sport
Hon Dennis Hood, MLC Australian Conservatives
Frank Pangallo, Legislative Council Candidate for SA-BEST


Sport SA's platform summary





-The State Government proudly supports sport and recreation in all its forms and that is why we have pumped an additional $156 million into infrastructure in the past two years alone and is on top of the regular grant programs delivered through the Office for Recreation and Sport.

-Meeting the challenges associated with the massive increase in the number of women and girls taking part in sport, $24 million was allocated to build female change-rooms. 

-The State Government is a huge supporter of women and girls in sport whether it is at the elite level like the AFLW or grassroots clubs in suburbs and towns across South Australia. 

-We want to see more women and girls signing up with their local sporting clubs and the best way to do this is to make sure our sporting facilities are as welcoming as possible and the change-room facilities are female friendly.

-A $9 million total upgrade to the Women’s Memorial Playing Fields at St Mary’s will also include a permanent Memorial to Australian Servicewomen from all theatres of war.

-In support of grass-roots clubs, we set up a major $20 million grant initiative to establish or replace playing surfaces as part of a drive to increase participation.

-This funding will assist sports like soccer, hockey, tennis and bowls to install synthetic surfaces.  Sporting clubs like basketball, volleyball, netball and tennis that use hardcourt surfaces are also eligible.

-Artificial pitches or playing surfaces improve the standard of sporting facilities, help save on water costs and can be used in all types of weather.  These grants can also be accessed through the regular Office for Recreation and Sport programs.

-Grassroots sport is so important for local communities, helping kids and adults to stay fit and healthy while providing a training ground for future superstars.

-These clubs are at the heart of South Australian suburbs and regional areas and it can be difficult for them to raise funds for upgrades of any kind let alone major projects like building synthetic pitches or upgrading change rooms.

-An $11.2 million investment in State Sports Park, Gepps Cross, will cement Adelaide’s place as one of the great cycling cities of the world.

-It comprises a complete overhaul of the Adelaide Super-Drome with an integrated wind tunnel the first of its kind in the world.

-In addition, a new International BMX training track will be completed and complements the Sam Willoughby International BMX track being built down south in partnership with the Onkaparinga and Marion Councils.

-The Football Federation of South Australia is the beneficiary of a $19 million investment to establish its headquarters at State Sports Park, Gepps Cross.  In the mix are administration buildings, synthetic pitches, multipurpose gym and more.

-Sporting hubs like State Sports Park are supported and promoted by the State Government because they optimise the location, capacity and shared uses of facilities to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

-A re-elected Labor Government will continue its popular Sports Voucher program for another four years with a $14.8 million commitment, and extend it to include other forms of dance such as ballet and hip-hop.  Statistics show more than 23 per cent of young girls participate in a form of dance, higher than the rates of football and soccer among boys.

-The introduction of the Major Events Bid Fund in 2014 has secured 54 sport related events and is forecast to inject $245 million into the economy.

-Despite not being mentioned on the Sport SA Election Platform, the National Sports Plan is shaping up as an important issue for everyone involved in sport. Announced in May 2017 by the then Federal Minister for Sport, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, and due for release mid-2018, it was touted as a national plan for high performance sports, grassroots participation and public health improvements.

-Labor will continue to oppose any moves to downgrade responsibility, autonomy or decision making in sport occurring at a State or local level.  A re-elected Labor Government will continue to stand up for South Australian sport at the national level.

-Sport and recreation unites and strengthens communities and a re-elected Labor Government will continue to invest in the growth of sport at all levels in this State.




-Increase the current Sports voucher program from $50 to $100 and expand it to include dance.

-As part of their energy and cost of living policy, the Liberal party would reduce the running costs for all sporting organisation – electricity and water bills being key concerns raised by many sports clubs.

 -A Liberal Government will abolish all fees payable by volunteers for screening by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion. This will reduce the costs associated with volunteering for many people.

-Focus on a long-term planning strategy in SA for sporting infrastructure and sports industry.

-As part of this long term planning strategy, Corey said he would personally like to explore an entertainment and sporting complex in the River bank precinct.

-Focus on community and grass-roots sport by supporting the concept of creating more regional community sports hubs;

-As a part of their facility program, targeting the reduction of barriers to involvement in sport by people from different backgrounds, they would like to build more unisex changing room facilities.

-Focus on workforce development of the sports industry, including traineeship programs.





-The Australian Conservatives strongly believe that high rates of participation in sport are more important than ever in an age of rising obesity and increasingly sedentary life styles.

-The Australian Conservatives believe that the biggest impost to increased sporting participation rates is the very high cost of running sporting organisations such as energy and water costs and high levels of state taxation.

-The Australian Conservatives would ABOLISH Land Tax, all Stamp Duty, the Emergency Services Levy and Payroll Tax. By abolishing all of these taxes, the costs of running a sporting club would fall dramatically resulting in substantially lower membership costs and significantly higher participation levels.

-The Australian Conservatives believe that Governments do not fully appreciate the great social benefits provided by organised sports. Sport teaches, team work, reward for effort, how to win and how to lose and is a significant contributor to character development especially in young people.

-The Australian Conservatives believe that the economic benefits of sport are not adequately considered or appreciated by Government. It is a fact that sporting participation benefits both physical and mental health which has positive impact on the individuals directly involved and on society as a whole.

-The Australian Conservatives believe that participation in sport must be encouraged by Government not just to improve social outcomes but also to create economic activity through organised sporting activities.  Further, sporting activity leads to direct and indirect savings to the health budget as higher sporting participation levels lead to healthier individuals who rely less on our already stretched health system.





-Increasing sport participation rates of our children. If I am fortunate to be elected- and SA-BEST has a say- we will look at the re-introduction of compulsory sport or physical activity in primary and secondary schools. This - I firmly believe- will encourage healthy habits. Improve motor skills. Provide social interaction with others and boost learning proficiencies.

-Raising revenue to pay for programs to boost participation in sport. Government’s need to be pro-active here. Perhaps levies. Rebates and tax incentives on the major sports may be an answer. Another revenue source would be a levy on gambling providers like on-line bookmakers, hotels and clubs with gaming machines.

-SA-BEST would support a good cause lottery as a source of funding for grass roots sports.

-Tackling the scourge of substance abuse in amateur sport. Maybe we do need to look at more random drug tests as well as pouring more money into education and counselling programs.

-Integrity in sport governance and in the participation at every level from elite to junior ranks. We must insist on a policy of fair play- from participants to spectators - and severely punish those who misbehave and bring their sport into disrepute. Racism needs to be stamped out with constant messages at major sporting events and fixtures.

-Programs that encourage inclusion among people from different backgrounds and cultures, those with a disability, indigenous communities and troubled youth. Encouraging older demographic of 55+ to take up suitable sports, stay active, fit and healthy, thereby reducing the nation’s health bill

Current Media

The drive for new centre hits home The Advertiser, 20/1/18, pg. 79, response from CEO, Jan Sutherland to Graham Cornes' opinion piece in The Advertiser "Why tennis and footy are polls apart"!

Download the Sport SA 2018 State Election Priorities

Sport SA has been working on the 2018 State Election Strategy and Sport SA's CEO Jan Sutherland has provided information in our meetings, publications and forums regarding the identified issues. 

In addition Sport SA members have provided valuable insights into the infrastructure priorities of your organisations, your position in relation to the Commonwealth Games bid by Adelaide and the issues which you are facing as you deliver sporting opportunities in SA.

The March 2018 Election is fast approaching and we are seeking your support in ensuring that sport is recognised of great significance and value to the South Australian community. There is little doubt that as a collective voice we can influence the parties to achieve excellent outcomes for sport and hence enable SA to be a more active, healthier community through sport. 

We will be seeking all political parties to acknowledge the value, contribution of sport and expanding role by reducing the rising costs of providing sustainable, cost effective sport  to be available for everyone, anywhere at all times with support of these policy priorities.

Currently we are in the lead up phase of the advocacy campaign and I am providing an update to you as our members. The member engagement is well underway and the social media strategy is planned with the details to you in the near future.  

The following three priorities with the measurable and deliverable outcome as stated, will be presented with detailed supporting challenges to be provided in the fact sheet  which will be distributed to all interested parties. 

2018 State Election Strategy Priorities 


An ongoing budgetary commitment of increased investment in sport and recreation infrastructure with state wide strategic facility planning and development for community sport including facilitating access to community and school facilities.

Costs for Sport 

Reduction of the costs, fees and tax for sporting organisations and clubs with rebates for all sporting organisations supported by all government agencies.


Direct support to enable sporting organisations to facilitate opportunities for everyone to be involved in sport.

Your support is essential in achieving our advocacy plan outcomes for sport and we are asking you as State sporting organisations, key sporting organisations and stakeholders in community sport to assist with the following elements in the strategy campaign at key dates (to be finalised): 

- Members of Sport SA & our community - Demonstration of the collective voice of sport and the strength of the sporting community with your members and stakeholders together to everyone. 

- Make our case for increased support of sport and addressing of the issues / challenges in the priorities as presented.

- Media support & comments advocating for all sport 

- Correspond with your community & also local politicians / candidates  

- Publications with the Sport SA advocacy campaign information & specific to your sport / local community 

- Social Media Campaign (release date to be determined). Share on your social media and grow key messages, including Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Development of a Social Wall and updating with regular posts. 

- Blog from your Champions, President & CEOs 

- Attend a Meeting of Politicians & Sport with questions re: addressing these priorities.

Thank you for your contribution in the preliminary and preparation of this 2018 State Election advocacy campaign. Your information, advice and discussions are essential in the development and delivery. Our research has underpinned this work and as you are well aware 870,000 South Australians participate in sport and recreation and over 150,000 volunteers with our 10,000 in the paid workforce make sport happen all over our state. 

Please contact me if you would like to discuss anything further and we look forward to achieving outstanding wins for sport in March 2018 for the future of community sport in SA.

Jan Sutherland

Chief Executive Officer