Sport plays an important part in the lives of Australians and being active is an essential part of leading a healthy lifestyle. The Australian Government currently spends about $100 million a year on various initiatives to encourage participation in sports. The sports sector also generates nearly $13 billion in income every year and employs more than 100,000. Nearly 2.3 million people volunteer their time to support participation in sports. Unfortunately the number of people participating in sport has fallen to just a quarter of all Australians. Research shows that more people would like to join a sport but have been discouraged by factors such as lack of time, cost and confidence. This week the Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, announced a new national strategy Play Sport Australia to improve participation in organised sport. More information about the strategy is available at www.ausport.gov.au. One way that schools, clubs and coaches can encourage involvement in sports is through the Sporting Schools initiative. This is a school-based participation programme which provides coaching plans and tools to run practical sports sessions. Sporting Schools activities can be run before, during or after school time and will include more than 30 sports in total from July 2015. For more information and to register for Sporting Schools please visit www.sportingschools.gov.au. *** Entries for the 2015 State and Territory Landcare Awards are now open. These awards provide a great opportunity to recognise the farmers, community groups, councils, schools and businesses that volunteer their time for the benefit of our valuable natural resources. The Landcare Awards have been running for 25 years which demonstrates the strength of the community based and volunteer driven nature of Landcare. There are a number of categories including Individual Landcarers, Sustainable Farm Practices, Indigenous Land Management and Junior Landcare. For more information and to nominate a volunteer visit: www.landcareonline.com.au. *** The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs Committee will be holding an inquiry into the effect of market consolidation of the red meat processing sector. Competition is essential to drive prices at the saleyards and many constituents have raised concerns about the impact of the merger between JBS and Primo Smallgoods. More information about the terms of reference for the inquiry and how to make a submission to the Senate Committee is available at: www.aph.gov.au, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 6277 3511.