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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 999 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Mr Speaker, this is an inquiry that the committee is happy to take on. There has been quite a lot of interest in the community for some time now about the health of children in Australia generally, and the situation in Canberra is not different. I think we are all aware of the media images that are often presented to us of the children who are overweight and there is a notion that we need to do something about it. There are fitness issues for children in the computer age. Of course, it is a much broader issue than that, and certainly a relevant aspect of any inquiry is to look at the physical fitness of children and to understand the causes if their fitness is declining.

Absolutely essential in any discussion about health of children is the relationship between social, emotional and physical health. In this society we are often confronted with images in the media and in the community generally about the devastating impact of eating disorders on children. We are being given quite sensationalised pictures of very fat children or dying children, and I do not think that is particularly useful.

I think what we need to do is look carefully at what the situation is for children and how we can work as a community to support children's health so that they are physically and mentally well. If you are going to do that, you have to look at the social context as well. Obviously we have to look at the family, the school and so on.

I am hoping that this will be a positive inquiry which will result in a report which helps inform this Assembly and this government on the very critical issue of the health of our children.

Public Accounts-Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, pursuant to Standing order 246A, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts has resolved that I make the following statement regarding Auditor-General's Report No 5 of 2001, The Administration of Payroll Tax. I seek leave to table the statement.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: I present the following paper:

Public Accounts-Standing Committee-Statement on Auditor-General's Report No 5 of 2001, the Administration of Payroll Tax.

I will limit my comments to simply remarking that the government has the recommendations of the Auditor-General in relation to payroll tax under active consideration and the members of the Public Accounts Committee believe that a review by the committee is not warranted at this time. The committee intends to revisit this matter in September 2002.

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