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Active after-school program to get the chop.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

28 March 2008


Labor has failed to rule out cuts to the Active After-school Program, an initiative that provides local primary school-aged children with access to free, structured physical activity programs in the after-school timeslot, Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, said today.

Mr Hawker said the Active After-school Program (AASP) was introduced by the Coalition in 2005 and has been enthusiastically taken up by primary schools and out of school hours care services (OSHCS) right across Western Victoria.

“The Coalition implemented this initiative after some shocking statistics illustrated that forty percent of our children do not participate in organised sport outside school hours, contributing to the estimated 1.5 million young people under the age of 18 who are overweight or obese,” Mr Hawker said.

“The Building a Healthy, Active Australia initiative recognised that we need a balanced approach towards nutrition and physical activity to promote healthy habits for life. Importantly, the package was focused on children, because we know healthy and active children live better and learn better, and grow up to be more healthy and active adults.

“The Active After School programme engages schools, local community organisations and sporting clubs to bring together children in fun and safe structured physical activities.

“It was projected that the program would reach over 3,200 primary schools and OSHCS centres nationally if funding continued to 2010 as planned, providing the opportunity for around 150,000 Australian children to become physically active,” Mr Hawker said.

“It is widely recognised that Australian children are becoming less physically active and are spending more time inside watching television, playing on the computer and play stations.

“This program gives parents the piece of mind that their children are playing outside, getting exercise in a safe environment.

“It baffles me why Labor won’t commit to supporting this AASC program that has proved such a success in creating healthier, more active and happier local school kids.”

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100