- Deputy Premier announces a re-elected Coalition will fund Ararat Active
- Ararat Active aims to build a healthier and more active community
- Only a Coalition Government is committed to building a better regional Victoria
The community of Ararat will continue to build on the lessons learnt from the Biggest Loser as it strives to become healthier and more active, with the town securing a $2.5 million commitment for the Ararat Active program, if the Coalition Government is re-elected.
Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan visited Ararat today alongside The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner and Liberal candidate for Ripon Louise Staley to announce that a re-elected Victorian Coalition Government would invest $2.5 million to fund the Ararat Active program.
Mr Ryan said the Ararat community had been calling for this funding and the Coalition Government was proud to have listened, responded and committed to it.
“I am so pleased to be here alongside Scott Turner and Louise Staley to make this significant announcement,” Mr Ryan said.
“If re-elected, the Coalition Government will invest $2.5 million to enable the Ararat City Council to deliver the Ararat Active program.
“It will enable Council to build on the great work of Michelle Bridges, Shannan Ponton and the Biggest Loser team in making Ararat a more active, healthier and stronger community.
Mr Ryan said the Ararat Active program would focus on preventative health, engaging at risk locals, working with schools and workplaces to encourage a healthier community, developing guidelines to tackle obesity and other local participation programs.
“The program will help people of all ages to become active and participate positively in the community through five key areas including, Active Early Years, Active Learning, Active Workplaces, Active Aging and Active Leisure time,” Mr Ryan said.
“Through practical local programs in schools, workplaces and community organisations, Ararat Active will create a stronger, healthier local community.
“If this innovative program proved to be a success it would form a great template for other communities across the region and the state.
“The only thing standing in the way of us being able to deliver this vital funding is the Labor Party.
“I call on the Labor Party to match our commitment to ensure that Ararat Active is delivered no matter which side of politics wins November’s election,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Turner, who has campaigned strongly for this commitment, said he was proud to have helped score a win for the Ararat community.
“I have said repeatedly that we need support from government to help us on our journey to being a more active and healthy community,” Mr Turner said.
“This election commitment will ensure that we have the best services available to us and builds on the great work done here by the Biggest Loser.
“Ever since the Biggest Loser came to town in 2012, we have been on the path to a healthier and more active Ararat and our community is already seeing the benefits, with locals now aware of the importance of looking after their health.
“Obesity levels have fallen, and the risk of heart attacks, stroke and diabetes has been reduced. With the fire now lit, I am so proud the Coalition will help us to keep it burning.”
Ms Staley echoed Mr Turner’s comments and said this $2.5 million election commitment would be well received by locals of all persuasions.
“A fit and healthy population is the goal of any successful community and I am proud the Coalition Government has seen fit to commit to this initiative,” Ms Staley said.
“If the people of Ararat can continue to be supported and better educated about making healthier lifestyle choices they will begin to see benefits start flowing through to the community.
“This $2.5 million election commitment shows the Coalition Government is committed to supporting this region, and it also shows the community is committed to bettering itself.
“We must always fight to be the best we can as a region, and as individual communities.”
Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731