House debates

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Braddon Electorate: Montello Sports Facility; Youth: Survey

8:53 pm

Photo of Sid SidebottomSid Sidebottom (Braddon, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I would like to mention two things tonight, if I may—one local and one national. The local one is that I had the privilege last Saturday to go to the new Montello sports facility, the home of the Burnie United Football Club, the Emus. The federal government contributed $480,000, the local Burnie Council $370,000 and the state government $77,000, providing nigh on $800,000 for the new facility. Boy, is it a great facility—and well-deserved. I just missed the friendly match they played; I arrived too late, unfortunately. I do not know what happened with the time, but everyone was enjoying themselves and they were ‘bending it like Beckham’ in front of their new club rooms.

I want to pay special mention to Sheryl de Bomford and the hard-working organisation at the Burnie United Football Club for the work they have put in over the years to bring about this magnificent facility. I want to congratulate the club and also all those that will use the Montello sports facility itself, and I thank the state government for their $77,000 contribution for new lights at the Montello facility.

If you are in Burnie, Madam Deputy Speaker, as I know you like to visit Tasmania, you will find Montello right at the top of Burnie, with magnificent views of Bass Strait and across the reinvigorated city of Burnie where, I am proud to say, the federal government has contributed—in two years—some $45 million. The people of Burnie are very grateful. It has been part of a record expenditure by the federal government in the electorate, so I am very pleased to be a part of that.

Onto the more national scene, and this was mentioned today in question time by the Minister for Sport, all of us have received a copy of Mission Australia’s seventh annual National Survey of Young Australians. I spoke on their report this time last year. Over 45,000 young people aged between 11 and 24 respond, so it is a fair sized survey over all ages. It is interesting to see the issues of concern to young people. In all, there were something like 15 mentioned by them and some nine of them range from a 20 per cent response, in terms of it being of concern to them. Among the top three issues of concern was, first and foremost, body image and I think this gets replicated—it certainly has in the last few years. Some 26.3 per cent argued that this was of concern to them. It was particularly an issue for the young adult group, with one third of them concerned compared to one quarter of those aged from 11 to 14 years. One in five male respondents and one in four females indicated it was a significant issue for them.

The online comments, I believe, reflected young people’s concerns about the media, and other representations of the ideal body and its effects on young people. While some respondents expressed a desire to change their own appearance or body shape, many of the comments regarding body image—and I found this very interesting—were related to their concern for their friends or others. Research suggests that internalising the ideal body, presented in a range of media, contributes to body dissatisfaction amongst adolescents as achieving that ideal is generally not possible. The online survey’s comments suggest that young people are keenly aware of the links between poor body image and diminished self-esteem. It really is an issue.

Drugs were of concern to 26 per cent and, in the main, it was interesting that most were concerned about the effects of drugs on their friends and the community in general. Family conflict also registered highly at 25.9 per cent. But what really came out in the survey was young people’s appreciation of the importance of their family and family relationships, and how the family itself is so important to the development of their values and their own image and safety. They were also concerned with family conflict and violence.

It is really worth looking at Mission Australia’s survey, Snapshot 2009. It is an eye-opener and something that we really need to do something about. (Time expired)