ACF threatens Tennis Australia with Corporations Act

It was only a matter of time. The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has regurgitated a report it wrote on the increasing risks of heat stress on cricketers during Boxing Day tests by applying it the Australian Open tennis.

It chose the same partial voice to undertake the study.  The Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub (MCCCRH) openly states that it “conducts social research and leads impact focused projects to build media and policy infrastructure that adequately addresses climate change in Australia.”

Not balance. Just agenda based.

The main points were as follows:

“The MCCCRH finds”:

“Australian tennis is already experiencing the impact of climate change, with smoke from bushfires and extreme heat driven by climate change increasing health risks for players and the likelihood of match disruptions.

Haven’t we worked out that dreadful bush management is a root cause, not climate change? That despite 57 inquiries into bushfires since 1939 we still haven’t learnt how to maintain our bush land despite aborigines being successful custodians for 1,000s of years before climate change was even a thing? Incompetence seems to be the issue, not climate.

“Tennis authorities should consider a series of actions to protect players, such as extending the length of the tournament — to allow games to be cancelled in the hottest part of the day if it’s too hot on court — or moving the event to November or March.”

Has the ACF considered some players are fitter than others? Shouldn’t the players determine such things with TA, not a bunch of alarmists with an axe to grind?

“Climate change threats may soon represent ‘material financial issues’ for Tennis Australia and its directors, who could face liability under the Corporations Act for failing to adequately address and report these risks.

Do we really need to have the ACF resort to threats via the Corporations Act to shame Cricket Australia and Tennis Australia (TA) with unsettled science? Does it realize that corporations reporting on climate change has fallen to 14% from 22% over the last decade? 1000s of Aussie directors are already well aware of their risks without having the ACF throw the rule book in their face. So they disagree with you.

Will the ACF insure the risk of lost revenue if its alarmism they predict fails to eventuate? If the ACF is so confident in its prophecies it should have no qualms backing such a notion. Put its science where its mouth is.

On page 16, TA got a slap on the wrist for having ANZ as a sponsor because it supports the fossil fuel industry at $7.70 for every $1 it does on renewables. Could that be because of the relative risk profile, ACF? Does ANZ dictate to TA what it must do with the tournament other than contractually honour advertising exposure? Does TA have any rights to tell ANZ how it, a bank, deploys shareholder capital? No.

Although we do note the ACF commended TA for joining the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and urges it to raise its voice for strong, meaningful climate action from our government.

The ACF should demand that TA restrict the Australian Open to players who walk, cycle or sail to the tournament. As the UN sports body states,

“Sport is not just a victim of climate change; it is also a contributor, through greenhouse gas emissions.

What better way to mitigate the dangers and show the very actions that will stop the climate emergency dead in its tracks by making the tennis players ditch fossil fuel derived transport of any sort to any future events and give up their carbon rackets and naphtha based synthetic clothing.

In closing, FNF Media hopes for the sake of consistency, that the ACF will guarantee it will publish a report on professional skiing competitions where skiers may have to brave record cold temperatures to compete? If such an event comes to pass, we can guarantee it would never see the light of day. After all we just had the coldest maximum summer temperature in history at Thredbo late last year.

By the way, here is the Melbourne forecast for the tournament and the peak temp hit in 1939.

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