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Sporting Event Cancellations - COVID-19 Containment



Could the minister please advise the current situation with regard to sporting groups and codes in view of the coronavirus?


Mr President, I thank the member for Launceston for her question. While the impact of the coronavirus continues to unfold, a number of sporting events have already been cancelled.

While this is very disappointing for many men and women and the junior participants of these sports, the primary consideration must be health and safety. By way of an update, based on this latest advice - and it is changing every 10 minutes - the following events and competitions have been postponed or called off.

Following a meeting with the National Development Panel, Rugby Australia, along with all state and territory member unions, unanimously agreed to postpone all community rugby until the first week of May, effective immediately. Hockey Australia and member associations have cancelled the Under-18 National Hockey Championships, scheduled for 16 to 24 April.

Netball Tasmania has suspended all of its competitions across the state. Basketball Tasmania has suspended all events, leagues and training programs. Tennis Tasmania has postponed all events, competitions and tournaments. Boxing Australia Tasmania has suspended all interclub boxing competitions and tournaments and training activities.

Cricket Australia has postponed the Gillette One Day International Series. Cricket Tasmania has cancelled the final round of the Marsh Sheffield Shield, which was scheduled to start. Cricket Tasmania is consulting with the Premier League Committee and club presidents to decide final standings on this season's table and will make an announcement as to who the premiers will be in coming days. Cricket Tasmania is also advising the relevant Tasmanian community cricket associations that there is an expectation that they will follow suit with their own competitions and has provided advice to support local decision-making.

Swimming Tasmania has suspended all regional and development clinics. Surf Life Saving Tasmania has cancelled its High School Surf League program. The Launceston Leisure and Aquatic Centre will close from today and the council will review its position in two weeks. The Doone Kennedy Hobart Aquatic Centre has also closed for a period of two weeks at this stage. I have been informed that the Oatlands Swimming Pool has also closed. AFL Tasmania has postponed all AFL football until 31 May 2020. The Northern Tasmanian Football Association has postponed the commencement of their season until 31 May.

Football Tasmania has postponed all football activity until 14 April 2020. The City to Casino Fun Run andWalk has been cancelled. The following championships were to be held in Tasmania this coming month have been cancelled or postponed - Targa Tasmania has been cancelled; the super cars visit scheduled for 3- to 5 April has officially been postponed; Disability Sports Australia National Wheelchair AFL Championships; Netball Australia under-19 National Championships; Rowing Tasmania School Rowing Championships; and the BMX Australian National Championships. Futsal Tasmania statewide school titles have been postponed in all areas until 20 May. Tennis Tasmania State Championships - the Junior Tour; the Derby Mountain bike Trails and Dragon Trail as well, both events; and Surf Lifesaving Tasmania's Senior Championships.

In terms of fundraising events or dinners or award dinners, both the Olympic Appeal Dinner scheduled for 30 May has been cancelled and the Cricket Tasmania Awards Night, which incorporates the Ricky Ponting Awards, scheduled for 3 April, will be postponed until further notice. I am advised that on the national Cabinet accepted advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee that community sporting activities could continue with involvement from the central participants, players, coaches, match officials, staff, volunteers involved in operations and parents, guardians or participants.

This advice follows ongoing consultation with sporting organisations, which has resulted in guidelines being prepared for community sporting organisations. The guidelines provided relevant advice on changeroom access, physical contact, travel and social distancing and hygiene practices.Furthermore, it has been acknowledged that contact sports have a greater risk of transmission than any other sport and as such should be considered on a case-by-case basis. All sporting codes should seek public health advice applicable to their code and take into account outdoor mass gathering issues as well.

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