ACT Labor supporting canteens for healthier kids

On average, Canberrans are the best educated, best paid and healthiest people in Australia.

The health and wellbeing of all Canberrans is our priority and investing in our children in the developing years with targeted preventative health measures means every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Harnessing the potential of promoting healthy lifestyles in the school environment is a tried and tested formula.  When we invest in the early years and promote healthy eating and exercise targeted at our kids, we see the benefits for years to come.

We have already announced a $500,000 fund to install water bottle refill stations and supply reusable drink bottles to any school that agrees to end the sale of sugary drinks in public schools within five years.

ACT Labor recognises that there is more support needed for school canteens to supply healthy options for kids in school.  By phasing out or limiting unhealthy options at canteens we are well placed to meet our ‘zero growth’ target and reduce the number of primary school children who are overweight or obese.

The National Nutrition Guidelines are reflected in our schools canteen policy, and we need to help school canteens to fully implement healthier choices for students.


If re-elected in 2012 ACT Labor will invest $1 million to make sure public school students have access to the highest quality canteen options.

By supporting school canteens we will upgrade canteen services in public schools and fund an online order system for parents to make healthy lunch choices for their children.


Policy costings

ACT Labor will invest $250,000 per annum in recurrent funding to better support our canteens to deliver healthier options for our kids.

We will work with the ACT Public Schools, ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Association, ACT Canteen Association and Nutrition Australia to roll out our plan to better support school canteens to provide healthy food and produces in ACT schools.

ACT Labor’s plan to support school canteens for healthier kids.


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2014 -2015

2015 – 2016

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How will it work?

This initiative will aim at full co-ordination across ACT public school canteens and will reduce the cost of high-quality, healthy food for students and parents.

ACT Labor will also fund the introduction of an online order system, including Point of Sale (EFTPOS) terminals, which will allow parents to conveniently make orders for their children anywhere, at any time through a process that is simple, safe and cost-effective and which will help to promote increased consumption of healthy food.

This new ordering system will streamline canteen operations by significantly reducing cash handling. It will enable the efficient processing of food orders where needed and reduce the pressure on parents volunteering as canteen operators.

ACT Labor will also support upgrades in older school canteens by funding through small grants the purchase of new energy-efficient kitchen items, such as fridges.  Improving the infrastructure in school canteens will enable schools to provide more fresh food and produce to students.

Why is it so important?

Public school canteens continue to provide healthy, nutritious and affordable food options for students during school hours.

However public school canteens are becoming increasingly complex to run and the volunteers and non-profit organisations who manage them deserve more support so that they can continue to do this great public service.

There is an identified need for additional central support so that public school canteens can continue to operate on a not-for-profit basis and deliver healthy eating options for students.