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Australian Sport Policy

Australian governments develop public policy to communicate and deliver on strategic intentions. It guides decisions and government investment including support and financial assistance provided to individuals, organisations, and other community groups.

Australian sport policy reflects the value and importance our society places upon sport. It will often be leveraged by—or integrated with—objectives beyond the sport sector including:

  • preventive health and wellbeing
  • community and urban development
  • tourism and trade
  • international relations.
Australian governments (Federal, state/territory, and local) invest over AU$1.3b annually in sport—investing in community participation, high performance, infrastructure, major events, and building a robust sports industry. 1

Roles and responsibilities of Australian governments

Australia has three levels of government - the Australian Government (also referred to as the Commonwealth or Federal Government), State and Territory Governments, and Local Governments (also known as municipal or local councils). More information about the broad roles and responsibilities of these different governments is available from the Parliamentary Education Office website.

For sport, the Federal, State, and Territory governments work independently and through coordinated approaches to develop and implement sport related policies and programs targeting all or part of the Australian sporting pathway from grassroots to elite level sport.

Local governments play an important role in developing and maintaining sport and recreation infrastructure, and provide a range of services essential to making sport accessible to all Australians.

Non-government organisations, such as national and state sporting bodies and their affiliated clubs, work closely with various government agencies to initiate and/or implement sport related programs and services.

A detailed description of the various segments of the Australian sport sector is provided in the Clearinghouse Structure of Australian Sport topic.

Federal Government

State and territory governments


  1. Intergenerational Review of Australian Sport, BCG Consulting for the Australian Sports Commission, (2017)
  2. Australian sport: a profile, Australian Government Publishing Service, (1985)
  3. 'Life. Be in it.' Launch, National Museum Australia, (accessed 20 March 2024)
  4. Oxford Companion to Australian Sport (2nd edition), Oxford University, (1994)
  5. Fit for purpose: Australia’s National Fitness Campaign, Julie Collins and Peter Lekkas, Medical Journal of Australia, (2011)
  6. Australia at the 1980 Summer Olympics, Wikipedia, (accessed 3 April 2024).
  7. Annual Report 1990-91, Australian Sports Drug Agency, (1991).
  8. More than sunshine and vegemite: success the Australian way, Jim Feguson, Halstead Press, (2006).

Related Topics

Last updated: 13 May 2024
Content disclaimer: See Clearinghouse for Sport disclaimer


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