Page 5034 - Week 13 - Thursday, 12 November 2009

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(1) The ACT Government is considering a range of policy options, including the potential for a levy, to reduce the use of plastic bags. The outcomes of community and stakeholder consultation will inform the choice of policy approach.

(2) Should the Government decide that a levy is the most appropriate way to reduce the use of plastic bags, the level of revenue will be dependent upon the design of the scheme and how retailers and consumers respond.

(3) Public consultation on the use of plastic bags in the ACT has been undertaken to gauge Canberrans’ views on use and the range of options the Government is considering. Community consultation includes discussions with people and groups that might be particularly impacted upon. Consultation with retailers about impacts of potential measures to reduce plastic bag use is being undertaken.

(4) The Government is committed to acting to reduce plastic bag use in the ACT.

Swimming skills
(Question No 354)

Mr Seselja asked the Minister for Education and Training, upon notice, on 14 October 2009:

(1) What progress has been made in providing enough funds to ensure that all primary school students have access to swimming and water survival skills.

(2) When will this target be achieved.

(3) How much will this policy initiative cost.

(4) Is this a firm commitment or aspirational.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The Department of Education and Training has a contract in place with Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) to oversee and manage a ‘Swim and Survive’ program to ACT public primary schools. Currently, this program operates at four swimming centres and RLSS are endeavouring to increase the number of centres willing to provide access to make it easier for schools to participate.

In 2008, 19 ACT schools chose to participate in the program with a total of 1887 students. In 2009, 14 schools participated with a total of 1800 students. Other schools have chosen to use other learn-to-swim providers such as Belgravia Leisure and the Australian Institute of Sport, while some schools have chosen not to offer a program.

(2) All schools can choose to participate in a swimming and water survival skills course through either the RLSS or another learn-to-swim provider.

(3) The current arrangement with the RLSS costs $66 000 per annum.

(4) The ACT Government is committed to ensuring all primary schools have access to an appropriate swimming and water survival skills programs, and will continue to examine ways to further improve access and reduce costs to parents.

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