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Rugby Union Inquiry

15 November 2017

 

Rugby Union Inquiry

WA Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds welcomed today’s report into the future of rugby union in Australia as a first step toward getting answers for rugby fans and taxpayers following the axing of the Western Force.

“I initiated this inquiry after I saw the devastation and sheer bewilderment of the Western Force – not just the players, but the entire team around them and their thousands of fans,” Senator Reynolds said.

“Australian Rugby Union, now called Rugby Australia, cut Western Force from the Super Rugby competition without explanation or justification in August this year.

“It struck me that the rugby community were owed answers, as were federal taxpayers, who help fund the sport, and WA taxpayers, who invested more than $100 million in good faith.

“I thank all of my WA Senate colleagues for their support for this inquiry and note that the Senate agreed to refer the inquiry to the Community Affairs Committee without dissent.”

Senator Reynolds said it was now time for Rugby Australia’s board to carefully consider the report and the committee’s recommendations.

“As I said in the Senate when I initiated the inquiry, if Rugby Australia had nothing to hide, they had nothing to fear,” she said.

“Instead, Rugby Australia saw no need to be accountable to the sporting community, the parliament, and the taxpayers, who help fund them.

“The tragedy of the stewardship of the current management is that they conducted 13 reviews in a little over five years into the governance of the sport, but did not deliver a single reform. The inquiry clearly proved that there was a great deal of mismanagement within Rugby Australia, which contributed to the axing of the Western Force.

“Rugby Australia must take steps to ensure rugby union survives and thrives in Australia, and that this level of mismanagement is not repeated.”

To read the full report visit https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Futureofrugbyunion

Media Contact: Amy Blom 08 9477 5411, 0431 685 372 or amy.blom@aph.gov.au

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