On 6 September 2017, the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report:
The future of rugby union in Australia.
The terms of reference are:
- the Australian Rugby Union Board deliberations leading to the decision to reduce Australian teams from five to four in the national competition;
- whether there continues to be a truly national rugby union footprint in Australia;
- the role of national and state-based bodies in encouraging greater national participation in rugby union;
- the corporate governance arrangements and composition of national and state-based rugby union bodies, including community representation on those bodies;
- the impact of the decision to reduce the number of Australian teams on national participation in rugby union; and
- any other related matters.
The closing date for submissions is 12 October 2017. The reporting date is 13 November 2017. On 13 November 2017, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 14 November 2017. On 14 November 2017, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 15 November 2017.