Page 368 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

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long-running campaign to keep Canberra ad free. It is a campaign that has had support from over 90 per cent of Canberrans.

The petitioners, in their terms, draw the attention of the ACT government to the fact that public space advertising is socially, economically and environmentally destructive, and that it is creeping into our private spaces.

The petitioners also note that it is usually unpopular in the ACT. It has been the subject of sustained community campaigning to protect our ad-free status, and ads are now creeping into these spaces. We are seeing illegal ads in places such as billboards at the Canberra Centre and McDonald’s ads on bus shelters. We are also seeing a proliferation of non-illegal ads—ads that are not already banned but that perhaps government should stop and think about.

A lot of the ones that have been raised with me personally as concerning are the ads that are on light rail and bus windows. They tend to make people literally feel travel sick. We are also seeing a lot of messaging that is actually not very helpful at the moment. There is a particularly favourite worst one in my electorate, in Jamison, which is an Afterpay ad with a young person eating fries, and it recommends that young people go out and get into debt to buy more fast food. It is not a very helpful message to be proliferating at the moment.

We know we have a lot of environmental problems. We know a lot of those environmental problems are based in over-consumption. We know we have a lot of mental health problems. We know a lot of those mental health problems are based on the fact that people are made to feel unhappy and are constantly told that they are less than they should be, that they should buy more, have more and do more. It is just not very helpful messaging.

I am very supportive of this petition, and I am looking forward to seeing the ACT government’s response to it.

Community language schools—rapid antigen tests—petition 3-22

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (10.10): I wish to talk to my petition about community language schools being supplied with free rapid antigen tests. These tests are essential to health care and keeping our community safe. The ACT has 46 community language schools servicing over 2,000 students and run by more than 300 volunteers. They play an important role for the Canberra multicultural community in maintaining and retaining our cultural heritage.

At the beginning of this term, during the return to school, rapid antigen tests were given free of charge to students and teachers in public and private schools. They were also distributed to community organisations working in aged care and disability, to protect our most vulnerable.

However, now that supply is no longer an issue, we have not seen the same level of supply going out to other community groups which are also servicing the needs of our children. Community language schools were not included in this policy, which made

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