Anger is mounting at the refusal of a national independent panel to allow a late submission addressing the needs of GLBT people in sport.

The Independent Sport Panel is due to report to the federal Government before the end of the year. A late request to include a submission on strengthening member protection policies in sports clubs to protect GLBT players has been rejected.

Rob Mitchell, behind much of the push to get the AFL to include sexual orientation in its vilification policies, contacted the panel last week and was told the deadline had passed.

-œAt the conclusion of the first Asia Pacific Outgames this panel was announced and an expert panel was established and there’s not one mention of GLBT people?… It’s an insult, he said.
Last year, Sports Minister Kate Ellis announced the appointment of the panel to look into reforming Australian sport for future growth. The panel will look at both elite and grassroots community sport.
Mitchell was also in talks with the Australian Sports Commission in a bid to increase the body’s awareness of homophobia in sport.
The ASC’s submission to the panel does not mention tackling homophobia or including GLBT people in sport.
Mitchell told Southern Star the ASC has agreed to talks with the community by establishing a reference group to address their board with a submission.
The ASC told Southern Star it was the starting point of conversations with the community and nothing has been set in stone. -œWe’re exploring and considering a number of things, but we haven’t made any final plans yet, an ASC spokesman said.

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