Major Sporting Events Amendment Bill 2013 (21.03.2013)

Written on the 26 March 2013

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- I am very pleased to rise to speak in the debate on the Major Sporting Events Amendment Bill 2013. I commend the Minister for Sport and Recreation for bringing this bill forward, and I also commend Mr Drum for outlining the government's position. I am pleased Ms Tierney reiterated the opposition's support for the bill. Right at the start of her contribution she acknowledged that the bill will contribute to improving safety but she then spent the next 10 minutes saying that it will not improve safety. I was little confused by her contribution, but nevertheless I agree with her that we in Melbourne are very proud that Melbourne is considered to be the sporting capital of Australia. We hold that title very proudly and it is the envy of many other cities around Australia that Melbourne does have that title.


Throughout the year we have a number of world-class sporting events. We have just seen the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix held at Albert Park, showcasing Melbourne to an international audience and providing enormous economic benefits to the hospitality, tourism and sports industries. As has been mentioned, in January the Australian Open Tennis Championships attracted many regional, interstate and international visitors to our spectacular tennis precinct. Throughout the year the MCG hosts magnificent major sporting events, whether they be the AFL Grand Final, the Anzac Day clash, the Bledisloe Cup or the Ashes. Other stadiums around the city provide spectacular sporting events and other major events throughout the calendar year. As I said earlier, we hold very dearly our position, which is the envy of other cities and states.


A number of major events are held in my electorate of Southern Metropolitan Region.


In part the bill extends crowd management provisions in the principal act so they will apply to Caulfield Guineas Day, which obviously is held at the Caulfield Racecourse, and also events at Lakeside Stadium, which was formerly known as Bob Jane Stadium. Throughout the year there are significant events at Lakeside Stadium. Alongside it we have the very good facility of the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, where there are also significant sporting events.


In recent weeks and months we have seen some very unruly behaviour at Etihad Stadium. As Ms Tierney highlighted, the bill will improve safety by preventing unruly behaviour that tarnishes events and help to protect the reputation that we hold so dearly. There was a disgraceful display by some fans -- I have to say it was a minority -- at a particular event. Let us hope that we do not see the trashing of infrastructure or the lighting of flares that ruined that sporting event for so many. It really was a tarnished event.


The bill has many components, including the introduction of new offences for the possession of alcohol not purchased at the venue. Mr Drum went through that aspect very clearly. I know that other members of the government will highlight their concerns. Mr Ondarchie, who has a very strong affiliation with a major sporting code in the state, will make a contribution that I am looking forward to hearing.


The bill shows that the government does value sport. Despite what Ms Tierney said, the government supports many codes. I know that the Minister for Sport and Recreation, who comes from far western Victoria, travels through his electorate to get to many sporting events and is very passionate about sport. I commend him on taking this action, and I commend the bill to the house.

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