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Wednesday, 19 April 1972
Page: 1217

Senator MCAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) - I ask the Minister for Health: Is it a fact that the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in the United States of America was reconstituted late in 1970 to include members with a professional competency in physical fitness? Is it also a fact that there is a close parallel between the problems of fitness in the United States of America and Australia? In view of this and the continued failure of the Commonwealth Council for National Fitness to produce results of the fitness survey of young Australians, will the Minister discuss with his departmental officers the problem of the reorganisation of this body in order that it may function more in line with the 1970s than an earlier era?


It is true, as I understand it, that in September 1970 President Nixon appointed 15 nationally recognised fitness and sports figures to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports which presently is chaired by ex-astronaut James Lovell whom I personally happened to meet when I was visiting Cape Kennedy as Minister for Supply. In addition 100 famous athletes and sports figures were appointed to form an advisory conference to serve the Council in a voluntary capacity as guest speakers, panel members and study group leaders. The report on the survey of the fitness of young Australians - this is coming back to the problem of the National Fitness Council about which the honourable senator spoke - is now being prepared for publication. It will be recalled that I made a statement recently about a decision to publish the report. The Council is now working on that. This will be approved finally by the Commonwealth Council for National Fitness at its meeting in August, at which date it should be printed. The view that I hold, and I know that the honourable senator holds, is that in the circumstances the sooner it is printed the better. The honourable senator and, indeed, the Senate will be pleased to learn that consideration is being given to the possibility of updating the existing National Fitness Act.

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