Baillieu Cuts Funding From Kids Healthy Living Programs

The fight against lifestyle disease such as type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity has taken a severe hit as part of the Baillieu Government’s million dollar cuts to education and early childhood programs across Victoria.

Member for Monbulk, James Merlino said the Baillieu Government had cut funding from ‘Kids – Go For Your Life’ programs from schools across this region that tackled issues such as obesity in school children.

“More than 320,000 children in more than 2200 centres and primary schools across Victoria will no longer have access to ‘Kids – Go For Your Life’ programs,” Mr Merlino said.

“By refusing to fund ‘Kids – Go for Your Life’ past July 1 this year, Health Minister David Davis is walking away from the fight against lifestyle diseases in school children across this region.”

The Kids – Go for Your Life program, which started under Labor, helped educate Victorian primary school children about healthy eating and physical activity to help combat lifestyles diseases.

Mr Merlino said the Baillieu Government cuts to ‘Kids – Go for Your Life’ would mean following schools would no longer receive funding:

  • St Thomas Mores School (1618)
  • Boronia Heights Primary School
  • Boronia West Primary School
  • St Joseph’s Primary School -Boronia
  • Yawarra Primary School
  • Emerald Primary School
  • Gladesville Primary School
  • St Richards Primary School (1891)
  • Lysterfield Primary School
  • Macclesfield Primary School
  • Menzies Creek Primary School
  • Monbulk Primary School
  • Billanook Primary School
  • Mount Dandenong Primary School
  • Mt Evelyn Primary School
  • Mt Evelyn Special Developmental School
  • Olinda Primary School
  • Sassafras Primary School
  • Seville Primary School
  • Tecoma Primary School
  • The Basin Primary School
  • The Patch Primary School
  • Upper Ferntree Gully Primary School

“This is the latest blow in the Baillieu Government’s savage $960 million cuts to Victorian Education, Early Childhood and Health budgets,” he said.

“Families are already digesting Mr Baillieu’s decision to axe occasional childcare, and stripping Victorian kinders of internet access.”

Mr Merlino said Labor invested $6.2 million in ‘Kids – Go for Your Life’ over five years to encourage better eating habits, improved nutrition, and promote exercise in school children.

“About one-quarter of Australian children are overweight or obese, which is largely due to poor diet and increasing inactivity,” he said.

“That is why ‘Kids – Go for your Life’ is so important, as it helps educate our children and start healthy habits for life.

“Children’s lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes, left unchecked, will be a problem for future generations and preventative action needs to be taken now, however Mr Davis has his head firmly in the sand on this issue.

“Mr Davis’ decision to pull funding from ‘Kids – Go for Your Life’ is another cruel blow for hard-working families.

“The program was successfully run by The Cancer Council Victoria and Diabetes Australia Victoria.

“Mr Baillieu needs stop treating the health of our children with contempt and reinstate funding to ‘Kids – Go for your Life’.”

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