Sport and Recreation Ministers from the Commonwealth and Australian States and Territories met in Canberra today for the annual Sport and Recreation Ministers’ Council.
The 2006 Exercise, Recreation and Sport Survey Annual report was launched as part of the meeting.
It was recognised that 66 per cent of people aged 15 years and over participated in exercise at least once a week, a reduction from 69.2 per cent in 2005.
Ministers discussed the importance of sport and recreation in promoting healthy lifestyles and addressing obesity.
The impact of the drought on the availability of outdoor sporting facilities was highlighted as a continuing challenge. Ministers noted the ageing of indoor facilities as an issue of concern.
Also on the agenda was the continuing work by States to increase local open space provision in an effort to provide more space for sport and recreation activities as a result of increased demand and the drought.
State and Territory Ministers sought a commitment from the Commonwealth Government to assist in funding the provision of sporting facilities and infrastructure to help alleviate the effects of the drought and meet growing demand.
They agreed on principles that should govern any funding and recommended the Commonwealth consider those principles. It was agreed that any funding should be distributed to ensure maximum community benefit.
Ministers also discussed opportunities that could arise from greater access to, and co-operation from local schools, whose facilities could be made available for community sport.
They agreed that physical education and sport should be a strong priority in school curriculums in all States and Territories.
The ministers agreed that physical education and sport in schools should be forwarded to education ministers for further discussion at the MCEETYA (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs) meeting.
The National Anti-Doping Framework, which provides for a co-ordinated national approach to the fight against doping in sport, was endorsed. This aims to align domestic anti-doping efforts in Australia through co-operation between the Australian, State and Territory governments.
Ministers also endorsed the National Elite Sports Council Report, which noted that elite sport has received a boost to engendering greater co-operation through a Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the Australian Sports Commission and the National Elite Sports Council, including the Australian Institute of Sport.
Next year’s Ministerial Council will be hosted and chaired by NSW.
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