Bring back school milk

By Country News

A 1970s Federal Government decision to scrap free milk for primary school children was made on a false basis and needs to be reversed to ensure that primary school children receive fresh nutritious milk as part of a holistic breakfast program, according to a dairy lobby group.

Dairy Connect chief executive officer Shaughn Morgan said fresh milk was a dietary staple with a myriad of proven nutritional benefits for growing bodies and minds.

He said the Federal Government and Opposition, in consultation with state governments, should immediately commit to restoring the availability of nutritious fresh milk for all primary school aged children post-election.

Mr Morgan said the old scheme — which was started by the Menzies Government in 1950 — was scrapped because of cost and what was then described as lack of evidence of health benefits.

‘‘This old-age view is clearly incorrect,’’ he said.

‘‘Fresh liquid milk is a premium quality, short shelf-life food of immense nutritional value containing eight nutrients essential to human health, including B vitamins for energy, vitamin A to help maintain a healthy immune system and calcium which helps build and maintain bone strength.

‘‘It is time for the Federal Government and Federal Opposition to commit to a free schools milk program helping not just primary school children remain healthy but providing much needed moral support to the Aussie dairy farmer and the dairy industry generally.

‘‘Let’s have a free schools milk program throughout Australia when we celebrate World Schools Milk Day on September 25 later this year.’’