Minister for Aged Care and Sport – interview on Associated Press Television Network – 20 September 2023

Read the transcript of Minister Wells's interview about Brisbane Olympics/Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, gender equity, and the FIFA World Cup bid.

The Hon Anika Wells MP
Minister for Aged Care
Minister for Sport

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JOURNALIST: [Question on the 2026 Commonwealth Games]

ANIKA WELLS, MINISTER FOR AGED CARE AND SPORT: I was personally disappointed when Victoria pulled out of their commitment to hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games. It was an important rung on the Green and Gold Runway for our athletes, particularly for our Paralympic athletes on the journey to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It's always a shame to have athletes have their opportunities diminished by one less event.

JOURNALIST: [Question on the Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympics]

ANIKA WELLS, MINISTER FOR AGED CARE AND SPORT: I think we learned a lot just putting everyone through the Women's World Cup. And I've got a number of meetings with my French counterparts this week to check in on Paris and how Paris 2024 is looking, and also how the Rugby World Cup is going – what I should know now rather than later.

JOURNALIST: [Question on gender equality in sport]

ANIKA WELLS, MINISTER FOR AGED CARE AND SPORT: We want to make sure that it is an equal system, and that women's sport and all of the ways that women athletes differ from men are captured, planned for and supported, so that they are two sports alongside one another. And I think all of our dreams came true with the success of the Matildas in the FIFA Women's World Cup. It showed what happens when you have a home tournament, and how much a country can rally around a team with great values.

So we have great hopes for hosting the Rugby World Cup next and being able to do that for different codes and different sports. It's really important that we don't rest on our laurels because clearly, and manifestly with what is still going on in the Spanish women's football team, women athletes face various cultural, structural, physical threats that prevent them from being safe in their own workplace.

And I've tried to have an emphasis on, as Minister for Sport, placing an emphasis on the athletes’ voices and making the system athlete-led. Because this, ultimately, is a workplace for our athletes. And we cannot allow behaviours that are not acceptable in any other workplace to fester in sporting workplaces just because that's the way things have always been.

JOURNALIST: [Question on a potential FIFA World Cup bid]

ANIKA WELLS, MINISTER FOR AGED CARE AND SPORT: Because we have succeeded in securing Brisbane 2032, that has to come first. And obviously we're open to discussions with other people about whether we would be good hosts – well, I think we would be great hosts. Another interesting trend, I think, is the way that different countries are coming together to put joint bids in, I think it's interesting to see whether that's where we go as a sporting ecosystem with mega events.


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