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PM announces national framework for sport’s return

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24th April, 2020
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Australia’s major sporting codes will have to meet a number of federal guidelines in order to return from the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime minister Scott Morrison confirmed on Friday new national principles would be set up for sport and recreation to assist state governments.

The NRL are leading the charge with their planned May 28 return, and have so far been told by the NSW government they can come back on the basis they meet workplace safety requirements.

The AFL are also attempting to map their route out of the virus shutdown, with the prospect of competition hubs being floated as one path back.

Morrison revealed that federal government is looking at ways to help enable sport to take place again.

“What is a safe way to be able to do that, and to get as much consistency as we possibly can across all the states and territories,” the prime minister said.

“That was strongly supported today by all the states and territories, having something along those lines they would find very helpful.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media

(Photo by Lukas Coch – Pool/Getty Images)

Morrison said a medical panel would consider three different elements – elite sport, local sport and general recreation such as surfing.

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The decision-making process for elite sport would also consider a return to training for Olympic athletes, as well as funding issues.

The prime minister indicated sports would assist in producing the guidelines, given they have conducted a significant amount of biosecurity research themselves in planning their return.

The NRL, for example, have compiled a 40-page biosecurity document, which chairman Peter V’landys has claimed will provide the benchmark for other sports to follow.

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“In terms of the big codes – AFL, NRL, things like that – they’re both working through states and territories presently,” Morrison said.

“And what we’ll be doing, and particularly what the medical expert panel will be doing, will be drawing their proposals together.

“My understanding is that they have already had quite a lot of expert advice going into their plans.

“That will probably present a lot of the homework that needs to be done to support the expert panel in setting out what some of those principles are.”

© AAP