Page 2207 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 4 June 2013

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I spoke to this at the in-principle stage of the debate. This just removes offences under current legislation that would be committed if we were not making these amendments.

Amendment agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 10.53 to 2.30 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Health and Minister for Higher Education): Madam Speaker, I will take questions on behalf of Minister Corbell today, if there are any.

Questions without notice

Children and young people—obesity

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. On 25 May, the Canberra Times reported that you found that the findings of a COAG report on obesity were “alarming”. In particular, you said:

I think that’s probably the most concerning element of the report that the ACT, both for children and adults, sits above the national average for levels of our community who are overweight or obese.

Minister, on 28 May, you announced that you were ending funding for Robert de Castella’s SmartStart for Kids, that resulted in significant improvements for kids that undertook the program. Minister, why have you axed funding for this program that was achieving significant results when you claim to be alarmed by the level of obesity of children in the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question. Childhood obesity is a very significant concern across the ACT. I think the latest information we have from the ABS shows that over a quarter of school-age children in the ACT are overweight or obese, and this does require the government to consider every aspect of our funding across a range of directorates about how we look to change behaviours in particular that are leading to this outcome on our population.

In relation to the specific program that Mr Hanson alludes to, we worked very closely with Mr de Castella around that program. It is a sports science based program. It was funded for four years. Indeed, if you go to the SmartStart for Kids website, you will see on their website an acknowledgement that it is in the final year of a four-year

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