Page 55 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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healthcare services; the Physical Activity Foundation, a fantastic program to encourage riding or walking to school, which will work with individual schools for plans around what works for their schools; the YMCA of Canberra, which will look at exposing 2,500 children attending those YMCA children’s services programs with healthy options; the Heart Foundation ACT, which will adopt the live lighter campaign that has been working in WA across a marketing campaign; and Gordon Primary School-Lanyon cluster of primary schools every chance to dance program with Kulturebreak.

These five organisations will get a reasonably good sum of money in order to promote their programs and make a difference to childhood obesity across the ACT.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, why does your government say that potentially unsafe temperatures in public schools will not be audited and are a matter for principals but that having children consuming milk and fruit juice is not a matter for principals?

MS GALLAGHER: The directorate does have policies that go across the education system, and I do not think that is unusual or different in any way. But there are localised matters such as the impact that a particular event, for example weather, has on individual schools. I know that in the school my children go to, an older school in Canberra, during the heatwave, one child was in a classroom that was pretty warm and one child was in a classroom that was reasonably cool. That goes to the question about principals being best placed to make decisions about how to manage the unusual event of extended periods of heat in the classroom.

In terms of providing systemic guidance around healthy eating policies and programs in ACT schools, again individual schools and individual principals take decisions at the local school level, and that is reflected in the government’s work.

In terms of the decision we have taken to phase out sugary drinks, this is something that has been on the table since 2005. From nine years ago, I can find a newspaper clipping from the Canberra Times about access to sugary drinks and unhealthy food in the canteens, and maybe talk about what we need to do about that. Nine years later we have got more children who are overweight or obese than ever before in the city. We know that the major contributing factor to that is access to sugary drinks. What are we going to do? Just do nothing? Just let it continue? Not send a message that we have to provide some guidance, support and education to children and their families about access to sugary drinks in schools?

Multicultural affairs—Fringe Festival

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. The Chief Minister stated in the Canberra Times on 11 February this year that she had “instructed the Arts and Multicultural Affairs Minister to ensure a proper recruitment process is in place for the directorship of next year’s Fringe at the Multicultural Festival”. She also said:

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