Legislative Council: Thursday, November 17, 2022



Commonwealth Games

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. C.M. Scriven:

That this council—

1. Acknowledges and congratulates the 55 South Australian athletes who competed at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, for their achievements, dedication and hard work in representing their country on the world stage.

2. Recognises the achievements of all medallists who helped Australia finish on top of both the gold medal and overall medal tally in Birmingham.

3. Recognises all the performances of South Australian athletes who, individually and as teammates, won 23 gold medals, including:

(a) Sophie Edwards, Chloe Moran, Leigh Hoffman, Matthew Richardson, Matthew Glaetzer, Georgia Baker, Rohan Dennis and Maeve Plouffe (cycling);

(b) Christopher McHugh and Paul Burnett (beach volleyball);

(c) Jessica Stenson (marathon) and Kurtis Marschall (pole vault);

(d) Tahlia McGrath, Megan Schutt, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Darcie Brown (cricket);

(e) Matthew Temple, Meg Harris, Kyle Chalmers and Madison Wilson and Zac Incerti (swimming);

(f) Sarah Klau (netball).

4. Acknowledges that the Commonwealth Games are the 'friendly games' where para and able-bodied athletes compete on the same stage, promoting inclusivity and achievement through sport.

5. Recognises the huge sacrifices and part played by parents, family members, partners and friends in the lives of all athletes, whether it be at the elite or community level, to support their loved ones in their achievements.

(Continued from 8 September 2022.)

The Hon. E.S. BOURKE (15:34): I move to amend the motion as follows:

Paragraph 3:

Leave out '23' and insert '26'

Subparagraph (a):

After 'Rohan Dennis' insert ', Kristina Clonan, Caitlin Ward'

Subparagraph (f):

After 'Sarah Klau (netball)', insert 'and Tom Wickham (hockey)'

Australia was represented by 433 athletes, and I am proud to say that included 55 athletes from South Australia, at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in July and August of this year. I would like to recognise the incredible achievements of Australia's athletes, who won 67 gold, 57 silver and 54 bronze medals. As a hockey player myself, I was very happy to see the Australian men's and women's hockey teams go on to win gold and silver medals, respectively.

South Australian athletes punched above their weight, winning 26 of those 67 medals, either individually or as part of their teams. It was because of their hard work and execution that Australia finished top in gold medals and in overall medal tallies. We should be very proud of their achievements.

I would also like to recognise the very important format of the Commonwealth Games, where para athletes and able-bodied athletes compete alongside each other. The Commonwealth Games is the only large-scale multisport event that has adapted this inclusive format, and it has been an integrated competition for quite some time. In fact, it has been over 20 years since parasports were first held at the same time as the able-bodied sports during the games.

In my capacity as the Assistant Minister for Autism, I have heard time and time again about the importance of making spaces inclusive and about the way that autistic people, and indeed people with a disability, thrive when they are in spaces that are inclusive. So it is no surprise that the inclusive format of the games has seen the parasports competition grow. The 2022 Commonwealth Games had the largest parasports competition in the game's history, including 42 events across eight sports.

I would like to talk about one South Australian athlete in particular, Dr Jessica Gallagher, who is a para athlete with a pretty incredible track record. At the age of just 17 years, Jess was diagnosed with Best disease, a rare eye disease that causes partial central vision loss. She has lost over 90 per cent of her eyesight and is legally blind.

Jess became Australia's second-ever female winter Paralympian when she competed in the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver. At those Paralympics, her first, she became the first female Australian athlete to win a medal at the Paralympics Winter Games when she won bronze in slalom. She competed at the 2014 Winter Paralympics, where she again won bronze, this time in giant slalom.

She is also a formidable athlete in the Summer Paralympic Games, and has represented Australia in field athletics and track cycling. In 2016, she set the world record time for the women's cycling sprint B at the para cycling track world championships, a record that she still holds today. Just a few months later, she won bronze in the one-kilometre cycling time in trial B at the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games. In winning this medal, she became the first Australian athlete to win a medal at both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games.

At the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Jess and her pilot, Caitlin Ward, won Australia's first gold medal, coming first in the women's tandem B sprint. She won a second gold medal for Australia in time trial B, meaning that she won almost 10 per cent of South Australia's medals all by herself.

What Jess may lack in vision she makes up tenfold in insight. Her favourite quote is: 'Why follow paths lived by others when you can create your own path and destiny?' Jess's mindset is one that we need to embrace. Our role as government, as a parliament, is to lay the foundation for South Australians to self-determine, to be self-empowered and to raise their individual potential, irrespective of their postcode, their cultural background or their ability.

I commend this motion, with the proposed amendment, and congratulate all Australian, and especially South Australian, athletes for their remarkable contributions at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Hon. R.B. MARTIN (15:39): I rise today to speak in support of the motion congratulating South Australia's Commonwealth Games athletes. In speaking on this motion, I think it is crucial to recognise and congratulate not only those athletes who won a medal but every single athlete who showed the determination and perseverance necessary to compete for Australia at the highest level. I congratulate also the volunteers and officials who make these events what they are. They are often the unsung heroes, and they also deserve our thanks.

Out of every global event, the Commonwealth Games is unique in that it includes the commonwealth para athlete games and the commonwealth youth games in a single event. It is the only fully inclusive international multisport games, meaning that the results of all athletes are included in the medal count and every athlete is a full member of each country's delegation.

It is this spirit of inclusivity and camaraderie between athletes and nations that is particularly inspiring. Importantly, though, the athletes who compete in the Commonwealth Games do not just inspire me, they inspire the next generation of athletes to work hard and to strive for success.

I myself have two young children who participate in Little Athletics, and they love seeing athletics contested at its highest levels. I have seen firsthand how my children's participation in sport has developed their sense of sportsmanship and has increased their capacity to productively deal with loss and disappointment as well as managing their egos if they should win.

At a higher level, the potential for sport as a tool for diplomacy has been recognised in the federal government's Sports Diplomacy 2030 policy. This policy recognises that sport is a universal language that can break down cultural barriers and bring people together, as well as communities, nations and regions, to help build security and prosperity through a shared love of sport.

The Commonwealth Games is a shining example of sport bringing people together. The capacity for sport to build linkages within and between communities is at the forefront of the Malinauskas government's agenda. We are investing in local sporting clubs and associations. We are bidding for major sporting events, and we have brought back the Adelaide 500. We are making significant infrastructure upgrades such as the new Adelaide Aquatic Centre to ensure that the next generation of athletes have the best facilities to make their start in.

This is because we recognise that these investments bring South Australians together. They allow South Australians to focus on what unites us, not what divides us. As Nelson Mandela once said, 'Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.' I commend the motion.

The Hon. T.T. NGO (15:42): I rise today to speak in support of the Hon. Clare Scriven's motion. I would like to especially celebrate the achievement of Alex Wilson, originally from Murray Bridge in the seat of Hammond, currently being held by Mr Adrian Pederick MP. I would say he is one of the smartest and hardest working MPs for the area.

Alex Wilson had a very successful Commonwealth Games experience that saw her and her teammates, Lauren Mansfield, Lauren Scherf and Marena Whittle, win a bronze medal for Australia in the 3x3 Australian basketball squad. The Australian 3x3 team won the bronze medal game against New Zealand with a score of 15-3.

For those in this chamber who, like me, may not be overly familiar with this new form of basketball called 3x3, it is a faster paced version of the five-a-side game that made its debut at the 2020 Tokyo games. A little more than two years later, the game is considered the number one urban sport. This newer version has three players on each team. It lasts only 10 minutes and is played on half a court, with one hoop.

The Women's National Basketball League coaches only invited Alex into the Australian 3x3 squad at the beginning of 2021. To win the bronze medal after such a short time of playing the sport is certainly an indication of Alex's athletic skill and commitment. It is also a result worthy of celebration and one which Alex and the 3x3 team should be immensely proud of.

Prior to Alex's success with 3x3, she was already a highly sought after five-a-side basketball player. She gained national attention as a 16 year old and became a key player in the Australian Gems, which claimed bronze at the 2013 Female International Basketball Association (FIBA) under-19 world championships. With the successful 2022 Commonwealth Games experience behind her, and with the 3x3 basketball in the 2024 Paris Olympics, as well as the Commonwealth Games in 2026 to be held in Victoria, I am sure Alex will continue to do great things in both versions of this game.

I did read in a media report that for Alex it was not just about basketball but also about representing her Indigenous people. She said:

I am super proud of representing my Indigenous people, it's one of those moments that are bigger than basketball. It was amazing to be included in the largest cohort of Indigenous athletes attending the Commonwealth Games ever and be considered a role model for my people.

As I mentioned, the township of Murray Bridge is in Hammond, an electorate created in the 1994 redistribution and named after Ruby Hammond. Ruby was Australia's first Indigenous woman to stand for federal parliament. Alex is also a proud Indigenous Ngarrindjeri woman from the same electorate, an electorate that can now celebrate significant contributions and achievements from two South Australian Aboriginal women.

Both Alex and Ruby Hammond are role models who have paved the way for more of our Indigenous women to make their mark in the future, whether it be in sport, politics, the arts, or some other way. Alex, along with all of our Indigenous athletes and role models, will continue to shine for her community and for Australia. I extend congratulations to the other South Australian athletes who competed in the 17 different sports. As the minister said when presenting this motion:

…the Commonwealth Games are the 'friendly games' where para and able-bodied athletes compete on the same stage, promoting inclusivity and achievement through sport;

I support the Hon. Clare Scriven's motion and the opportunity the Commonwealth Games provided to all athletes, and I commend the individual achievements of each and every one of those athletes.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (15:49): I rise today on behalf of the opposition to support the motion by the Hon. Clare Scriven. I also indicate that the opposition will be supportive of the amendment moved by the Hon. Emily Bourke.

Australia has a very proud sporting history, which was further enhanced in Birmingham this year at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, where we ended the games leading the medal tally, with 178 medals, including 67 gold, 57 silver and 54 bronze. Sitting at home in our living rooms, we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to enjoy the success of our athletes as they routinely finished on the podium.

In total, 435 athletes represented Australia, which included 76 para athletes, eight guides and 351 able-bodied athletes. Of those, there were 55 South Australians, 40 of which were making their Commonwealth Games debut, competing across 17 different sports, including new program additions for the Birmingham games of women's T20 cricket, mixed synchronised diving and 3x3 basketball.

I want to congratulate every athlete not just on their performance at the games but for the years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication that culminated in their selection in the national team. They should be immensely proud of their achievement in representing their country. This extends to the parents, family members, partners and friends who have supported their journey, and the coaches, team managers and support staff who are critical in ensuring that these athletes have every opportunity to succeed.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games was the largest ever held, with 72 participating nations. They are often referred to as the friendly games because it is not a competition between countries but a chance to inspire each other to greater achievements. It is a chance to meet as well as compete. This took on a special meaning as the world emerged from the global pandemic and athletes were able to return to global competition. The games also promote inclusivity and achievement through sport, with para and able-bodied athletes competing on the same stage.

I want to recognise the achievement of all the medallists, and especially the South Australian athletes, who individually or as teammates won 26 gold medals. They include cyclists Sophie Edwards, Chloe Moran, Leigh Hoffman, Matthew Richardson, Matthew Glaetzer, Georgia Baker, Rohan Dennis, Kristina Clonan, Caitlin Ward and Maeve Plouffe; beach volleyballers Christopher McHugh and Paul Burnett; track and field athletes Jessica Stenson in the marathon and Kurtis Marschall in the pole vault; cricketers Tahlia McGrath, Megan Schutt, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Darcie Brown; swimmers Matthew Temple, Meg Harris, Kyle Chalmers, Madison Wilson and Zac Incerti; Sarah Klau in netball; and Tom Wickham in hockey.

I would like to make special mention of a couple of those athletes—firstly, multi-Olympian Jessica Stenson, nee Trengove, who won her first Commonwealth Games gold medal in the marathon, becoming the first female athlete to win three Commonwealth marathon medals, with two bronze medals already to her name from the 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast games.

Kyle Chalmers added three Commonwealth Games gold medals to his impressive resume. The 2016 Olympic champion and world shortcourse record holder now boasts a haul of seven Commonwealth Games gold medals after he won four gold and one silver in 2018. Affectionately known as the 'big tuna', the lad from Port Lincoln has established himself as Australia's freestyle sprint king. I wish him all the best as he chases more gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

From the water to the boards, Matthew Glaetzer's triumph to win two gold medals at Birmingham was nothing short of inspirational after fighting back from serious injury and illness, which included thyroid cancer. Matthew's resilience throughout his cycling journey is to be commended. Impressively, earlier on last month he added world champion to his 2022 campaign after he led the men's sprint team to the rainbow stripes at the 2022 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. It was the first Australian team to become world champions in the team sprint since 2012, a team Glaetzer was also a member of with Shane Perkins and Scott Sunderland.

Finally, the South Australians who have been presented with the Australian Sports Medal in recognition of their incredible achievements at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games: recipients include Jessica Stenson, silver medallist Callum Peters—who triumphed in the men's boxing 75kg weight division—and Australian Dolphin and debutante Ella Jones. A huge congratulations on the performance of every athlete in the Games. We are all very proud.

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY (15:55): The Commonwealth Games follows on from Australia's equal best ever gold medal haul at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and the most successful Paralympic Games result for Australia at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games in its 61-year history. There were 431 athletes who represented Australia at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The contribution to the Australian team by South Australia or South Australian-based athletes was 55 members, or 12.8 per cent of the team total, which was well above our 7 per cent per capita level. These 55 selected athletes were from 17 sports: athletics, 3x3 basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, cricket, track cycling, road cycling, diving, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, squash, swimming, table tennis, triathlon and weightlifting. Australia finished first in the overall Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games medal tally, bringing home 178 medals: 67 gold, 57 silver and 54 bronze.

The Games created many memorable moments, with South Australian athletes having an overwhelming amount of success, contributing to 45 medals: 26 gold, 11 silver and eight bronze medals in the overall Australian tally. Overall, South Australian and South Australian-based athletes contributed to 24 per cent of all Australian medals.

South Australian athletes won 26 gold medals, individually and as teammates, including Sophie Edwards, Chloe Moran, Leigh Hoffman, Matthew Richardson, Matthew Glaetzer, Georgia Baker, Rohan Dennis, Maeve Plouffe, Kristina Clonan and Caitlin Ward in cycling; Christopher McHugh and Paul Burnett in beach volleyball; Jessica Stenson in marathon and Kurtis Marschall in pole vault; Tahlia McGrath, Megan Schutt, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Darcie Brown in cricket; Matthew Temple, Meg Harris, Kyle Chalmers, Madison Wilson and Zach Incerti in swimming; Sarah Klau in netball; and Tom Wickham in hockey.

The six SASI-based swimmers on the Australian swimming team won 11 medals between them. The Australian track cycling team, with its national training centre based in South Australia, achieved 13 medals, with three being para track cycling medals. The SASI-based men's beach volleyball team won back-to-back gold medals following on from the 2018 Gold Coast Games. Of the four selected South Australian para athletes, two—Chris Flavel (para lawn bowls) and Beau Wootton (para track cycling)—won medals.

Callum Peters was one of the 10 Indigenous athletes on the Australian team, a record for the Birmingham team. He claimed a silver medal in his first ever international event. Jessica Stenson won the women's marathon and became the first female athlete of any country to win medals in three Commonwealth Games marathons (bronze medals at the Gold Coast Games in 2018 and Glasgow Games in 2014).

SASI graduates Maeve Plouffe, Sophie Edwards and Chloe Moran, and South Australian-based Georgia Baker, smashed the Commonwealth Games record with a winning performance of four minutes 12.23 seconds. All three SASI graduates were discovered through talent search testing.

After winning his fifth gold medal at a Commonwealth Games, Matthew Glaetzer now ties with the Australian record holder, Anna Meares, for the most Commonwealth Games cycling track gold medals. Matthew Glaetzer crashed out of the keirin before being controversially relegated from a bronze medal in the sprint. But he put those disappointments aside to storm to the gold in the 1,000-metre time trial, despite using a slower handlebar set-up.

The Commonwealth Games brings together Commonwealth nations to compete on a level playing field in the spirit of friendship and fair play, and is referred to as the 'friendly games'. The Commonwealth Games Federation has three values:

Humanity—we embrace all commonwealth athletes, citizens, communities and nations.

Equality—we promote fairness, non-discrimination and inclusion in all that we do.

Destiny—through impactful, high-performance sport, we help commonwealth athletes, citizens and communities realise their aspirations and ambitions.

Elite athletes with a disability were first included in 1994, starting with the sports of athletics and lawn bowls. In 2007, the Commonwealth Games Federation and the International Paralympic Committee signed a cooperative agreement to ensure the inclusion of elite athletes with a disability. The inclusion of these amazing athletes promotes opportunities in sport for people of all abilities.

Of the four selected South Australian para athletes, two won medals: Chris Flavel for para lawn bowls and Beau Wootton for para track cycling. Callum Peters was one of 10 Indigenous athletes on the Australian team, a record for the Birmingham team. He claimed a silver medal in his first ever international event.

Our government has a strong vision and plan for the future. In the vitally important area of recreation and sport, we are committed to focusing on growing the participation in sport and recreation of women and girls, people from diverse multicultural communities and of differing abilities. We are also focused on ensuring clubs and groups have access to facilities and the equipment they need to ensure that everyone can equally and actively participate in the sport or recreation they love.

We are focused on establishing policies and systems that focus on achieving equality in sport and that enable codes, clubs and groups to positively welcome all and to support volunteers and all participants. The government is also focused on connecting with codes, clubs and groups in an open way that ensures people have a say and are supported, ensuring South Australia embraces the opportunities that come through sport and recreation to bring people to our state and to bring people in our state together. We aim to connect codes and clubs in ways that benefit sport and recreation, local communities and our state as a whole.

To achieve what our athletes have done to make us so proud takes a team behind them. We must also acknowledge the sacrifices that parents, siblings, family members, partners and friends all make to support our athletes to fulfil their dreams and compete on the world stage. There is also a team of unsung heroes behind our athletes: the coaches, trainers and officials. Their dedication and the hours they put in with athletes, riding every high and low as if it was their own, is truly commendable and they are essential to our athletes' success.

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (16:03): I would like to thank all who made contributions: the Hon. Emily Bourke, the Hon. Tung Ngo, the Hon. Reggie Martin, the Hon. Nicola Centofanti and the Hon. Russell Wortley. I thank them for their contributions on this motion and words of congratulations to our wonderful Commonwealth Games athletes and para athletes. Once again, I want to acknowledge the hard work, sacrifice and commitment of these athletes and their families and express how proud we are of each and every one of them. I commend the motion to the council.

Amendment carried; motion as amended carried.