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Tuesday, 26 September 1972
Page: 1136

Senator MCAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Acting Minister for Health. By way of preface I point out that Australia's successes at the Munich Olympic Games were registered in water sports, namely swimming and yachting. Has the Minister considered the reason for Australia's failure in the other competitions, particularly the athletic events? Will the Minister request the Commonwealth Council for National Fitness to carry out an in depth study of the performance of Australia's Olympic Games team along lines similar to the youth fitness survey and the 'Fitness Australia' campaign, the cost of which was met by generous public sponsorship?

Senator GREENWOOD - The honourable senator's interest in national fitness is recognised. I am sure that the Commonwealth Council for National Fitness and the Acting Minister for Health, as well as the Minister for Health, will do all they can to ensure the fitness of the nation. I do not believe it is fair to say that Australia's athletes failed at the Olympic Games. After all., the persons who represented Australia in the track and field events were the best that Australia could provide. It is to their credit that they reached the standards they did, which enabled them to go to the Olympics representing, as they did, Australia but essentially competing in their own right. The fact that comparatively they did not do as well as our swimmers possibly indicates that we are better attuned to swimming events than we are to athletic events. But insofar as the honourable senator uses this as a basis for real concern, I am sure that the Minister will give attention to the matter.

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