Page 3818 - Week 12 - Thursday, 24 October 2013
MR WALL: Minister, did the company selling the MRx monitors submit the lowest cost tender, and were they acquired through an agent or directly from the manufacturer?
MS GALLAGHER: Not surprisingly, I will come back with that detail, if I can—if I am in a position to do so today—and answer that for the member.
Health—healthy weight action plan
DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Can the minister outline the key elements of the towards zero growth healthy weight action plan that was released on 14 October.
MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for his question and his interest in the towards zero growth healthy weight action plan which we released early last week. This is a government priority for this term, and an important step forward on our election commitment to stop the growth in obesity and overweight across the ACT community. It does cross my portfolio as health minister, but the action plan that we have released seeks to move responsibility for this area across government, acknowledging that a number of different directorates have responsibility in ensuring that our citizens and community are supported to live healthy lifestyles.
We did release it. It has 19 actions across six focus areas. It looks at schools, food environment, workplaces, social inclusion, urban planning and evaluation. We have looked at it across a whole-of-government area, so there are whole-of-government working groups now who will be tasked with progressing the 19 different actions across those areas, with responsibility for each of those areas being assigned to different directorates so that this is not seen as just a health issue.
There have been further reports released today which support the efforts we are making in this area, and which show that the percentage of people in the ACT who are overweight or obese is sitting at about the 62 per cent level. In the report that has been released by the national agency today we have the highest level across our peer group, which is looking at metropolitan areas and capital cities but also pulling together, for the ACT, our regional catchment as well.
There is no doubt that, whether it is 62 per cent, 61 per cent or 64 per cent, we have a significant health issue. It is going to continue to grow over the next few years unless we start taking really strong and targeted action now. That is what this action plan seeks to do.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.
DR BOURKE: Minister, how was the action plan developed?
MS GALLAGHER: We did this not just across government but with key public health organisations, for example, the Heart Foundation. Tony Stubbs was excellent. Medicare Local was very involved. Indeed, one of the reports, which has been