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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 2367..

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: I face that challenge every day.

MR GENTLEMAN: Many of the larger fast food chains specifically aim their advertising at children. They hope that the bright packaging and offer of a free toy will draw them in. For some of us, that could go back as far as Aeroplane Jelly. Children are very impressionable and it does not take much for them to be enticed. As Ms Porter stated earlier, there is much evidence showing that children less than eight years of age generally do not have the critical literacy skills to recognise the persuasive intention of advertisers. As a father, there are often times when you do not know what sort of advertising is on during the shows that are rated G or PG. Like many people, I use the time for ads to get up and go to the bathroom, get a drink or fix a healthy snack for the children, so how is a parent supposed to know what ads their children are watching then?

When my children were young, I spent far too many hours running from one sport to another. These days, with the introduction of the WorkChoices legislation, many parents are working longer hours and weekends just to earn a living. There are many effects of the new IR laws. Some are apparent, such as the loss of jobs; but some are subtle, such as the loss of being able to spend time with your children. On 666 ABC radio last week there was a report that the results of studies had shown that most working mothers feel stressed and cannot cope. As the hours of work get longer, the stress levels will rise and many parents will give their children whatever food is the easiest. It is not always the most nutritious or the best, but it is the quickest. We all agree that that is not the best way to go, but sometimes it is the easiest.

With the changing lifestyles, television becomes a friend, and fast food advertisements give parents an idea of what foods to give to their children for meals and snacks. All of a sudden, the health of our children begins to decline and the rates of childhood obesity begin to incline, all because of easy advertising. I applaud Minister Gallagher and her state and territory counterparts for taking the step of requesting the restriction of advertising nutritionally poor food during the peak times children are watching television.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: The discussion is concluded.

Radiation Protection Bill 2006

Debate resumed.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo-Minister for Health, Minister for Disability and Community Services and Minister for Women) (5.02): I seek leave to move amendments Nos 1 to 3 circulated in my name together [see schedule 2 at page 2383].

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