Page 3269 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013

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MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, you recently released the report of the school canteens task force. Can you detail the recommendations of the task force and, in particular, how the government will respond?

MADAM SPEAKER: Have you already announced how the government is going to respond? Would you like to rephrase that question, Mr Gentleman?

MS BURCH: I have issued a media release on our response—

MADAM SPEAKER: Yes, I thought that you had.

MS BURCH: but not in this place.


MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman for his interest in the school canteens. Yesterday I released the report of the ministerial task force on canteens and the government’s response to its recommendations. The task force report represents many months of work by all those involved to build better canteens in our public schools.

I would like to thank those involved who have contributed to its development—in particular the ACT School Canteen Association, Nutrition Australia ACT, the Healthy Kids Association and the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations, in particular Hugh Boulter, who has in many ways taken a leading role in this work. The commitment of these organisations and individuals is to be congratulated.

The task force made 10 recommendations to support our parent-run canteens. Among these, it recommended the introduction of an online ordering system to help parents and to provide canteens with greater certainty in ordering. It recommended a standard contract for schools entering into agreements with P&Cs to operate canteens and a similar licence contract for those non-P&C canteens.

It recommended that school canteens be encouraged to increase the range and quality of healthy food and drink. The ACT P&C association, ACT Health and the Healthy Kids Association will work together to support schools to implement sustainable business practices into their canteens to help them deliver healthy food choices.

The task force also supported the government’s commitments to improve canteen sustainability and healthy eating options in our public schools and to deliver water bottle refill stations.

There are other recommendations, for those who are interested. I think there were 10 recommendations and we have agreed to them all. Suffice to say the government has agreed to the 10 recommendations and has committed $200,000 to support their implementation. These funds will be provided to the ACT parents and citizens

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