MEDIA RELEASE: HEALTHY HAROLD GETS A LIFELINE FROM LABOR - WEDNESDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 2018

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP  
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
 
THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
 
HEALTHY HAROLD GETS A LIFELINE FROM LABOR

A Shorten Labor Government will reverse Morrison Government cuts to Healthy Harold with a commitment of $2 million over the next five years.
 
Scott Morrison’s 2017 Budget ceased all funding for Life Education, the organisation behind the iconic health education program and their mascot, Healthy Harold the giraffe.
 
After huge community outcry, the Government partially restored some of the funding for this program – still leaving the future funding for the program in doubt.
 
Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek pledged that a Shorten Labor Government will boost Healthy Harold with funding for the next five years, to secure the future of the program for Aussie kids.
 
Life Education has been teaching Australian schoolkids about the importance of a healthy lifestyle for nearly 40 years.
 
Across Australia each year more than 710,000 schoolkids benefit from the program in 4,200 schools and preschools where they learn about nutrition, physical activity, personal safety, cybersafety, safe and respectful relationships, and receive drug and alcohol education.
 
The Morrison Government has form when it comes to cutting services to charities and educational bodies.
 
In recent weeks the Government tried to cut funding to Foodbank which supplies meals to disadvantaged Australians over Christmas, as well as to 16 other aid and charity groups – only to be forced into a humiliating back-down when the details came to light.
 
No-one voted for Scott Morrison to cut funding to a program trying to make our kids healthier.
 
Life Education Australia Chief Executive David Ballhausen welcomed the announcement.
 
“We are grateful for any funding that allows us to ensure our children have the knowledge and skills they need to make safe and healthy choices.
 
“Since its inception, more than 6 million Australian students have benefited from Life Education’s program.
 
“Statistics show us that health messages are getting through to our younger generations: rates of smoking and alcohol and drug use among Australian teenagers are on the decline.
 
“But there is still work to do. Alcohol still remains the most dangerous drug in society, more than a quarter of Australian children are overweight or obese, and bullying and online safety are huge concerns for parents and teachers.
 
“We are delighted that our work is recognised as crucial to the future health of young Australians.”
 
WEDNESDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 2018