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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 11 May 2017) . . Page.. 1717 ..


the key risk factors that contribute to the burden of chronic disease and illness in our community. Last month I was very pleased to host a preventative health forum in April to kick off this work. The key aim of this forum is to encourage healthy and active lifestyles here in the ACT. As Mr Parton, a keen cyclist, noted, and I know his commitment to this, I look forward to the day—

Mr Coe: A fast one as well.

MS FITZHARRIS: A fast one as well—a bit too fast on some paths, as his Strava profile might indicate to us. He brings a level of joy to it which we can all share in. We really do appreciate him bringing forward this MPI today and share with him our support for a healthy and active lifestyle for all Canberrans.

MS LEE (Kurrajong) (4.07): I thank Mr Parton for bringing forward this matter of public importance. I am particularly pleased about it and congratulate him on his healthy initiative, as somebody who clearly has fallen under the curse. I am going to be asking him for some tips. I do not think it is any great secret that I have a personal interest in fitness, especially to those who have seen me in lycra probably more often than they would like in the Assembly.

We are lucky in Canberra. We are very fortunate to live in such an active city. In 2014 Canberra scored the highest ranking amongst OECD countries for regional wellbeing. In 2015 the ABS data showed that nearly three out of four Canberrans participate in sport or some sort of physical activity. It was the highest rate in Australia and it is something we can be proud of. The statistics showed that improved physical activity outcomes across the ACT population provide significant health benefits in the face of a growing burden of chronic disease. The data also showed that, whilst most men prefer to spend time in the gym, women prefer walking, and that young people aged 15 to 17 led the trend, with three-quarters taking part in sport. That is really pleasing to see, given that there has been a bit of a growing obesity epidemic, especially amongst our children, in Australia.

My personal interest in fitness started, like most Australians, as a kid, through a team sport—in my case field hockey—then taekwondo and then I went on to a little bit of tennis. My love affair with group fitness actually started as a high school student, when I would get up before 6 am and participate in Aerobics Oz Style before heading off to school. I grant that that probably made me a pretty weird teenager, but it has stood me in good stead. As a second-year uni student I decided this would be a pretty cool part-time job to undertake when all my fellow friends and students were doing bar work or working as waitresses. Despite having worked as a lawyer and then as a lecturer and now as a member of parliament, I have kept up that job. I still try to teach my group fitness classes. It is one of the things that I look forward to the most, especially if I have had a stressful day. So I can say for certain, from personal experience, that it has been good for my mental health.

At lunchtime today I had the great joy, I would say, to be asked by my former work colleagues at ANU College of Law to go along and participate in their wellbeing in law week. The college attempted, which was possibly a bit short-sighted, to break the world record for the number of people doing the “nutbush” at one time. Given that the


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