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Netball NSW “Disappointed” In Netball Australia Handling Of Fines


Netball NSW have said they are “disappointed” about how $57,000 in fines were communicated by Netball Australia to penalise the organisation’s COVID-19 protocol breaches.

Netball NSW was fined by Netball Australia after an investigation found team managers had delayed reporting links to COVID-19 exposure sites during the 2021 Suncorp Super Netball season.

Netball Australia has found Netball NSW’s team members did not perform daily checks of new exposure sites the Victorian government announced, and consequently the NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball travelled and trained with team members who had visited those exposure sites. 

Members of the Swifts were required to isolate for 14 days in Adelaide after being identified as close contacts of people who attended exposure sites in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, the GIANTS were delayed leaving the competition in Adelaide after a number of players and staff visited two exposure sites in Melbourne. 

Now Netball Australia has fined Netball NSW $10,000 for the Swifts’ delay in reporting the exposure link, and $10,000, suspended for two years, for the Giants’ error. 

Netball NSW was also subject to pay $37,563 for additional flight costs to Queensland because of the delay.

Although Netball NSW has accepted the fines for both clubs, they have expressed how they are unhappy with how the penalty was communicated.

Netball NSW chief executive, Tain Drinkwater, said the mistake was simply a human error in high-pressure environments, likely due to the high amounts of travelling the teams endured. 

“It is clear there were delays in reporting exposure links from both our teams and we take ownership of that,” Drinkwater said. 

“We accept the financial penalties but welcome the acknowledgement that these were not done out of selfishness or disregard for the competition.

“They were simply human errors made in high-pressure and stressful situations, and that context is very important,” Drinkwater said.

Drinkwater said the organisation is disappointed Netball Australia has assumed the fault lies with both clubs. 

“Without them, there would have been no Super Netball, either this year or last year,” Drinkwater said.

“While we admit the errors made at our end, we are disappointed that the public correspondence from Netball Australia gives the impression that all fault lies with the NSW Swifts and GIANTS, which the investigation conceded was not the case.”

Netball Australia CEO, Kelly Ryan, said: “Netball Australia takes any breach of its COVID-19 protocols and directions incredibly seriously.”

“We understand 2021 was a particularly challenging season and we thank the teams for their sacrifices and commitment.

“However, we will continue to do everything we can to safeguard the Suncorp Super Netball competition,” Ryan said.

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