Former Sailing Australia performance director Peter Conde named as AIS boss
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Former Sailing Australia performance director Peter Conde named as AIS boss

New AIS chief executive Peter Conde concedes the institute faces a challenge to stay relevant, but declared he has "absolutely no doubt" the Canberra campus can help reinvigorate Australian sport.

The AIS base has been the target of critics for more than 12 months, with speculation major assets and venues will be sold to the ACT government sparking concern the site could be shut down as a sports hub.

Peter Conde, centre, has been appointed as the new AIS boss.

Peter Conde, centre, has been appointed as the new AIS boss.Credit:Glenn Hunt

ACT sports minister Yvette Berry met with Australian Sports Commission bosses two weeks ago and was given a tour of venues.

The ACT government will consider buying Canberra Stadium, the AIS Arena and the AIS pool if the commission decides to sell its biggest venues after a major asset review.

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There have also been rumours of relocating the AIS to Melbourne, but Federal Sports Minister Greg Hunt attempted to hose down the ongoing uncertainty.

Conde, who will start in the role on October 23 and replace Matt Favier, said the AIS needed to evolve to stay help Australia improve its international results.

"The way the [asset review] will play out through the detailed configuration of the national sports plan," Conde said.

"It would be too early for me to make comments on that. But the plan is due for release early next year and I think off the back of that we'll see some good decisions being made.

"I look forward to having an input into the development of the plan. I have absolutely no doubt the AIS has a big role to play.

"But I also have no doubt the AIS needs to continue to evolve to be at the absolute forefront of what's required to be successful. I think that's important."

Berry had hoped to get clarity on the institute's future at a sports minister's meeting earlier this month.

It's understood Berry has sought assurance from Hunt that major venues would remain in Canberra given they are used by the ACT government to lure sports, conferences and concerts to the capital.

If the ACT government buys Canberra Stadium, it will consider bulldozing the ageing venue to sell the land before building a state of the art stadium in Civic.

But the future will remain unclear until the commission and federal government finalises a national sports plan, which could include funding plan via a sports lottery.

"I'm proud of where Australia is right now, but I think we can do better," Conde said.

"That's why I'm taking on the challenge at the AIS. There's no doubt there have been some good, positive changes made. But there's a lot more work to do.

"Each organisation has an important role to play and we need to do that with collaboration."

Conde has an already-established relationship with AOC chief executive, Matt Carroll, after working as a team at Sailing Australia for three years.

"I know he will make a great contribution to Australian sport. I have great respect for his abilities and leadership skills to take the AIS and Australian sport into the future," Carroll said.

"The AOC looks forward to continuing to work closely with the AIS as well as building a constructive working relationship with Peter and his team."

Conde led the Australian sailing team to four gold medals and four silver medals as part of his role as the performance director at the past two Olympic Games.

Sports commission boss Kate Palmer said: "The AIS is the strategic leader for Australian high performance sport and Peter has a proven record for overseeing systems that produce results.

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"Peter was recruited to sailing to help transform the sport's high performance program after it failed to win any medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics and it has since become a standout sport for Australia at Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"At the past three Olympic Games Australian sailing has achieved six gold medals and five silver, and Peter's strategic vision has strongly contributed to that sustainable success."