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Office of Sport

NSW Government delivers improved combat sport safety

Published: 20 March 2024

A major milestone, seven years in the making, to improve safety in the combat sports sector was achieved following the passing of the Combat Sports Amendment Bill 2024 in the NSW Parliament.

The Bill provides important safety reforms in the combat sports sector through improvements to the sports’ legislative framework and reduced red tape.

The Bill was prepared in response to recommendations from a review of the Combat Sports Act 2013 and Combat Sports Regulation 2014 by the Combat Sports Authority of NSW following the death of professional boxer David Browne in 2015 and the recommendations from the subsequent inquest by the Deputy State Coroner in 2017.

The Bill includes mandatory concussion and other serious head injury training for the sector, the introduction of attending medical practitioner accreditation and the mandatory suspension of a contest to conduct an assessment where a head injury is suspected to have occurred.

The Bill also includes the creation of a public register of registered persons to make the process of matching contests simpler for promoters and matchmakers.

These reforms will be progressively implemented over a 12-month period from 1 July 2024.

Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said:

“The NSW Government takes the health and safety of combat sports combatants seriously.

“In particular, we recognise the impact of concussion and other serious head injuries and want to ensure there are safeguards in place to protect combatants.

“This legislation will reduce the risk of concussion and other serious head injuries, it also modernises the regulation of combat sports, reducing red tape for promoters and combatants.

“I would also like to acknowledge the tragic circumstances which started this process, and I hope that by strengthening the laws we can ensure such a tragedy is never repeated.” 

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