The Member Federations of the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, Northern New South Wales and Tasmania have presented to the Congress Review Working Group (CRWG) an independent submission that reflects their attempt to achieve a consensual agreement on all matters before the Congress Review Working Group.
This Submission (not referenced in the report of the CRWG) is an independent report influenced by consultations within these Member Federations and most notably without any influence or collaboration with the Football Federation of Australia.
The submission has had regard to the deliberations and submissions made to the CRWG in confidence as part of its process. The submission does not reject any specific proposal as the detail of the report has not yet been fully considered. The submission identifies a variety of issues and includes recommendations to enable further consultation and discussion.
Whilst four Member Federation Presidents were elected to the CRWG to represent the nine Member Federations it was very challenging for them to fully convey the diversity of views amongst the Member Federations. We like all stakeholders involved in the CRWG process have adopted a considered, respectful and judicious approach to the Congress Review Working Group tasks and objectives.
We are of the opinion that the working model suggested by the CRWG does not adequately address the interests of grass roots football in the absence of a new operating model for professional football in Australia. These issues present challenges for the proper allocation of resources that enables the proper development of football that enables both aspiration and the opportunity to participate in all forms of football.
The interests of grass roots football should always be a primary consideration as it is the lifeblood of our sport. It is our greatest point of difference from the other football codes. It does not sit in the margins.
It is our fervent hope that our submission will signal further consideration of the recommendations of the CRWG. We are actively engaged in dialogue with our Member Federation colleagues and have reached agreement on many Congress Review matters around inclusion and expansion.
We see the diversity of opinions within the Member Federations to be healthy and commendable and have always argued that to see the Member Federations as a single stakeholder group fails to recognize the diversity and demographic prioritisation of matters related to the administration of grassroots football.
Any commentary that is uninformed and judgemental of any submission to the CRWG is not in the best interests of football. We would commend a proper consideration of the issues as part of an ongoing debate to realise optimal outcomes for all involved in football.