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It is now time to let the department get out its proposals and have consultation occur in relation to those. Let us hope that we come up with something that, ideally, we are all agreed on and that will improve dramatically the status of PE and sport within our schools up to Year 10. I think that is terribly important for our children. It is something that all these reports that have been done in recent years have highlighted as being a problem and something that has been slipping against other subjects in the curricula. There are a number of factors we will look at, but this Government is very keen to ensure that this terribly important area of our children's education is attended to. I welcome any constructive comments and any assistance from other people in this chamber. But now is the time to do something, rather than just shove this off to another committee and delay it for an extra year, or however long it would take.
MS TUCKER (12.05): Mr Speaker, the Greens have tried to get this motion off the notice paper today because we do not believe that it is constructive at this stage to politicise the issue of school sport. We are totally in favour of open discussion and community input, and we believe that that has been happening. This is about the wellbeing of students and also about the development of cooperative processes in this place. I personally do not believe that it is totally incompatible with the Westminster system. It is clear that to date Ms McRae has not had the opportunity to talk to Mr Stefaniak; so she feels that this is the appropriate action. There would have been a place for Mr Stefaniak, I suggest, to have talked to Ms McRae before this and to have given her a better briefing on what is under way.
Mr De Domenico: She knows where he is. She should have rung him up. Did she ask for a chat?
MS TUCKER: I think both parties can take responsibility for that. We are not supporting this motion, but not because we do not share the concerns of Ms McRae and the ACT P and C about the draconian nature of the original policy. We also agree that ill-considered implementation of increased sport programs could produce an unintended counterproductive outcome. While the Greens welcome a commitment to improving the physical wellbeing of our students, it can have negative effects, particularly on girls. I am particularly concerned about the impact on the self-esteem of girls by imposing inappropriate sporting measures, and I support the sentiments expressed by Ms McRae. I also believe that there is a necessity to consider very closely the relationship between physical and emotional wellbeing. I have a problem with forcing kids to undertake competitive sport, although we have been assured by the Minister that this is not the proposal.
Aside from the proposals regarding sport, the Greens were also very unhappy with the back-to-front process, which originally involved bringing in the key stakeholders only at the final stage, rather than having input from the key stakeholders throughout the process. It is not good enough to come up with a virtually completed strategy and then ask for input on how it is to be implemented. While it is good to have a goal or outcome, it is our belief that the goal should have been to increase the physical fitness and enjoyment of attaining physical fitness of students, not the goal of 200 minutes of sport happening in whatever way, and I have made that point to Mr Stefaniak this morning.