Release type: Media Release

Date:

Walk Safely to School Day

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard has congratulated parents who got active with their children and walked to school today instead of driving as part of Walk Safely to School Day.

Walk Safely to School Day aims to promote pedestrian safety and reduce car usage for short trips to improve air quality, increase physical activity and reduce traffic and noise levels around our schools.

At a time when obesity in our children has jumped markedly and with almost a quarter of all children overweight, Walk Safely to School Day is an excellent way to remind people of the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle.

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Walk Safely to School Day also promotes walking as an alternative to backing the car out of the garage each morning. One of the best ways individuals can contribute to reducing air pollution is to leave the car at home for short trips and walk instead.

Local councils and schools are encouraged through this day to develop and expand their initiatives to promote walking, cycling and other activities to increase the physical activity of children, young people and their parents.

Walk Safely to School Day is an annual event organised by the Pedestrian Council of Australia.

Walk Safely to School Day is supported by the Australian Government, all State, Territory Governments and Local Governments and the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia, Beyond Blue and the Australian Conservation Foundation.

The Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations has contributed $50,000 funding to this program to promote and encourage healthy, happy and safe children.

For more information about Walk Safely to School Day please visit: http://www.walk.com.au/WSTSD01/page.asp?pageid=260&languageid=7