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Schools left in the dark despite Government's one year extension of Active After-school Communities program

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Luke Hartsuyker, MP 

Shadow Minister for Regional Communications  Shadow Minister for Youth and Sport  Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the House  Member for Cowper 

Schools left in the dark despite Government’s one year extension of Active After-school Communities program


Thousands of school communities across Australia remain in the dark over the long term future of the Active After-school Communities program, despite the Federal Government agreeing to extend the program for an additional 12 months.

The Australian Sport Commission yesterday posted on their website that $43.5 million will be provided by the Government to enable the program to continue for a further 12 months.

Shadow Minister for Sport, Luke Hartsuyker, said the Federal Coalition welcomed the announcement but the Government needed to come clean on the future of the popular program.

“The AASC was set up by the Howard Government and has been very successful in getting previously inactive children participating in sport,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“Despite this success, the Federal Labor Government had previously refused to provide any funding past the end of the 2010 calendar year. This created a lot of uncertainty in school communities which had no idea whether the program would continue next year.

“Now at the 11th hour the government has provided a lifeline for another 12 months. But the reality is that schools are no better off now than they were this time last year.

“The Government needs to detail what its plans are for the Active After-school Communities initiative. It needs to build on the strengths of the program and ensure those students who are normally inactive are given every opportunity to access a sport or physical activities program.

“It’s not so long ago we had the Prime Minister of Australia declaring a war on obesity. But if the Government’s handling of the AASC program is anything to go by it was just more Labor spin looking for a headline.

“The fact Sunday’s funding announcement was uploaded on the Australian Sport Commission’s website but has yet to be placed on the Minister’s website suggests to many the low priority this Government places on after school sports participation.

“The new Minister for Sport has a real opportunity to restore some goodwill to the 3,200 participating school communities by committing funds past the end of 2011.”