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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3139 ..

MR BERRY (11.45): I ask for leave to move my amendments together.

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I move the amendments that have been circulated in my name, which read:

(1) Omit paragraph 1

(2) Omit paragraph 2(c)

(3) Add the following paragraph (2A):

"That the contract for a health and fitness program for ACT Government primary school students provide for monitoring by the working party and for the inclusion of the decisions of the working party."

Mr Speaker, concerns about this process are not that surprising, given the record of the government in relation to tendering. We have seen some pretty awful performances back as far as the hospital implosion, the Bruce Stadium fiasco and so on. I suppose I could even mention the Feel the Power campaign, as well. There is good reason for caution about the way the government contracts its work, notwithstanding concern about the principle of the government's moves to contract things to the private sector.

However, in this case we feel that this objective, that is, to run a health and fitness program in government schools, is a noble one, and something that we are quite content with, in principle. What we are concerned about is that, again, notwithstanding all its rhetoric, the government has not consulted with the stakeholders who are interested in the issue of health and fitness in schools.

There is a lot of tension out there about this particular minister's fetish with sporting activities, and there are some concerns out there in the community that perhaps he leans a little bit too far that way. That is arguable, but there are these tensions. All I am asking the Assembly to recognise is that there are these tensions out there in the school community about health and fitness in our schools, its emphasis, and how it ought to be managed in our school system.

Because of the tensions to which I referred, the stakeholders say, and rightly so in my view, that they ought to be involved in the process of any new developments in this area to make sure that the schools community is comfortable with the approach that has been taken with kids in our schools in relation to health and fitness, sport and PE, and so on.

We do not want to stop the process. We would like to see the process continue. We think that the amendment that I have put forward at least provides the government with a mechanism to negotiate different outcomes with tenderers, where that flexibility is available to them.

The government will say, "This will cause us to re-tender," but I do not care, frankly. That does not bother me. We will end up with a process where there is proper consultation, and a working party to look at the quality issues and so on before the tenders go out. However, these amendments at least provide a mechanism for the

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