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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 1993) . . Page.. 2456 ..


MS FOLLETT: Madam Speaker, I thank Mr De Domenico for the question. I will say at the outset that I will take it on notice because I do not have this level of detail. I would like to say that if Mr De Domenico were familiar with the capital works budget he would know that the overwhelming majority of the funds spent on roads in this Territory are raised and spent by the Territory Government. I suspect that the $8.2m that you refer to was, in fact, a special package, a black spots package of funding, with a direct effect on improving road safety. I believe that that is the case. I will check it. But, as far as our own funding on roads in this Territory goes, this will have no impact. We will continue with our own program of expenditure. That is available and is public, and anybody can comment upon it.

School Sport

MS SZUTY: Madam Speaker, my question without notice is to the Minister for Education, Mr Wood. I did give Mr Wood notice that I would be asking this question earlier today.

Mr Kaine: So it is not a question without notice.

MS SZUTY: Well, it is, because I require a fair amount of detail, Mr Kaine, as you shall hear. My question relates to recent figures produced by ACTSport in their newsletter ACTSport Action of June 1993 which show that Canberra schoolchildren in years 4 to 6 spend about 25 per cent less time in sport and physical activity per week than interstate schoolchildren. Can the Minister inform the Assembly as to what measures can and will be taken to improve the level of participation by schoolchildren in sport and physical activities?

MR WOOD: Madam Speaker, Ms Szuty did come up earlier today with the question and I think I substantially answered it then as it is a matter that I have been attending to. Let me say, first of all, that we have changed priorities in sport in our schools, as other States have done, and there is less emphasis now on what we might call elite sports, less emphasis on interstate competitions and more emphasis on skills development and physical activity for all children. I think that is a good move that people will applaud. It did not please ACTSport. One of the reasons I am focused on this is that for some time they were giving us a bit of a serve about it, I think quite wrongly, and then they gave us a serve because we wanted a SunSmart policy to protect our children from harm from the sun's rays. They did a national survey of primary schools. My understanding is that they had a telephone survey of nine schools in the ACT and I do not think that would give a representative response. I do not think it is a sufficiently sound survey to put into publication.

A more extensive survey was conducted recently by the department and it shows that ACT primary schools on average - and they do vary, of course - devote about two-and-a-half hours a week of school time to physical education and sport. This compares pretty favourably with other systems. I am sure members would realise that this is increased with lunchtime activities, after school


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