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Proposed Government Inquiry

MS McRAE (11.36): Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Assembly calls on the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Mr Stefaniak, to conduct the inquiry that the ACT Council for P & C called for before proceeding with any changes to the sport and PE programs in ACT Schools.

There has been quite a lot of discussion about the implementation of a new policy in regard to school sport, and I think the issues that are concerning people warrant an airing. Let me begin by saying that the Opposition has absolutely no problem with improving the level of school sport and the level of physical activity in schools. In fact, we would argue that we have a quite proud record of that in our schools, despite a lot of rhetoric to the contrary.

During the election campaign the Liberals issued what we can only say was a very good policy in regard to school sport, physical and sport education, and it won the hearts and minds of a lot of people in Canberra. Let me remind people of what was said, because quite clearly it was good, quite clearly it was supported, and quite clearly it carried a message that people wanted to hear. Let us remember what the facts were:

Develop a joint approach to sports education.

That has been facilitated very easily because the Minister is the Minister for both; so full points for that. The policy goes on:

Ensure that all schools, primary and secondary, have a Physical Education program in place.

Raise the profile and status of physical education and sport within school communities, at both staff and student levels.

It then provides a few details, and continues:

Support talented primary school children in interstate sporting competitions.

Encourage teachers and parents to undertake sports coaching, umpiring and administration accreditation courses.

Work with the Federal Government to foster and develop sporting initiatives in school, for example the Aussie Sports program.

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