Page 3819 - Week 12 - Thursday, 24 October 2013
released online, shows the level of data that has been captured now at ACT Medicare Local areas, and we are able to report this data against that, which is very helpful. The University of Canberra was another organisation.
During the scoping phase it was agreed the actions would target both core contributors to weight gain, for example, insufficient levels of physical activity and too much consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods, as opposed to nutritious foods. The group did a large amount of research looking at case studies from around the world for what works, and its findings are reflected in the action plan.
We are also, of course, supporting the action plan with the health promotion grants, the $2.1 million that is allocated to the health promotion grants now being targeted to this area of health prevention. So I am hoping that, once we align those resources on an annual basis, plus implement some of the actions in this plan, we can at least stop the growth in the numbers of people who are overweight or obese before we start turning those numbers around.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.
MS BERRY: Minister, how has the action plan been received by key stakeholder groups?
MS GALLAGHER: Since the release of the action plan the government has received several letters and statements of support. Key advocacy groups in the health area, such as the Heart Foundation and the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance, have endorsed the government’s action, and I thank them for their support. The Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance is an alliance of five major non-government organisations with a focus on the primary prevention of chronic disease in Australia—namely, the Heart Foundation, Diabetes Australia, the Cancer Council the National Stroke Foundation and Kidney Health. So this is a very significant organisation, and we thank them for their message of support.
The action was also been recognised by the Australia New Zealand Obesity Society when the gold medal award for obesity prevention was given to the ACT. It is an award that is presented each year to the jurisdiction that has made the most progress on a range of obesity prevention priorities, including law reform, policies, public education campaigns and other initiatives.
I thank Dr Paul Kelly and his team in the Health Directorate who have put in about 18 months of work at my request to put this action plan together, and the award is a real credit to and recognition of the work they have done.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.
MS PORTER: Minister, why is it important to take a whole-of-community approach to tackling the obesity epidemic?
MS GALLAGHER: It is important because it is not the health area of government’s problem to solve, and it cannot be solved by the Health Directorate. Whilst the Health