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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 12 Hansard (24 October) . . Page.. 3820..


Directorate deals with the results of chronic disease, and this year we are starting the first public obesity service for the ACT—and I expect that will need to be expanded over the coming years—the fact is that we have to start looking at a whole range of areas. We have to look at education; we have to use the social determinants of health to help us target our message. We need to make sure that the planners, when designing future areas in the city and new suburbs, are mindful of the parks and the active living principles that we need to embed in our physical infrastructure. And we have to look at it from a point of regulation.

I know that this is the area where the plan will get most criticism, about whether or not we should ban sugary drinks or regulate sugary drinks or look at sugar-free checkout aisles. But the simple fact is that those steps have worked in terms of tobacco control. Yes, you have to consult with people and you have to look to make sure you are working with small business and big business about how you implement those. But the reality is that our kids are getting overweight from the consumption of sugary drinks, in part. One 600 ml bottle of Coke will give you 16 teaspoons of sugar, with no nutritional value at all. So you are actually hungry after you have had it. I do not think young people understand exactly how bad some of those drinks are for their health and their weight.

We do need to take hard steps if we are going to change this around, but we will do it carefully. We will do regulatory impact statements, we will talk to everybody. But I do not think putting your head in the sand is going to be an approach that works long term.

Arts—Tuggeranong Community Arts Association

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for the Arts. The Tuggeranong Community Arts Association Inc currently has many dissatisfied members. Recently some longstanding and loyal staff members have been fired and some funds which were reserved for the operations of the centre, once the upgrade had been completed, have been used for other purposes. The members have called for a special general meeting. Minister, are you aware of the issues currently being faced by the members of the Tuggeranong Community Arts Association, and how have you responded?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Lawder for her question. It has come to my attention just within the last 24 or 48 hours—some commentary around the Tuggeranong Arts Centre. It is an independent association and it is funded through artsACT. My initial conversation with the arts directorate was to ensure that compliance for contract arrangements is in place and that we are satisfied with that.

I happened to be at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre just last night to open up the African film festival. I saw firsthand the fabulous renovation. Certainly there was no direct comment to me about any high level of dissatisfaction. As I understand it, there is an AGM coming up in a very short time. I expect the membership would address those concerns and raise those concerns within the governance structures first and foremost. That is where it belongs.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.


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