Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 August 2011) . . Page.. 3738 ..
there has been a lot of work that has gone into looking at that figure and it is actually primarily large chains that we are talking about.
As I said, it makes sense to do this at this time. We have got it happening in New South Wales, South Australia and, potentially, Victoria. It has been agreed to in principle. The principle has been agreed to nationally. It is the sort of scheme we will have to introduce. It is timely for the ACT to do it.
The key issue really, as Ms Hunter pointed out very eloquently, is that we have to start addressing the food that people eat. The health impacts relating to diet are becoming an increasing factor in the sort of conditions that are impacting our health system. They are impacting our acute system. It goes to that point that Ms Hunter made: we have got to actually start helping people address those issues and providing them with the tools to do that before they end up in the acute system.
We know from the health council that the next generation coming through could be the first generation in a long time which actually has a reduced life expectancy. One of the biggest factors playing on that is lifestyle-related factors such as diet and obesity. I think it is a very scary thing and it is one which we cannot delay on. We have been addressing other lifestyle-related factors for a number of years now and it is the time to start addressing diet and food.
Mr Hanson talks about the urgency. I actually think it is an urgent issue and we have to start doing it. It is something we need to start addressing because it takes quite some time to start to have an impact on people, as we have seen through other lifestyle-related issues such as smoking. We need to actually start doing it now. Again, Ms Hunter made the point that we have talked about the cost impost. But the cost impost on the health system by not addressing obesity and other diet-related impacts I think are too great. We have to start doing it now.
I am very pleased that the bill will be passed today. I thank the Chief Minister for her support. I know she has raised some concerns but I do think we have addressed them. I acknowledge the point she made that if we do need to address this again that may occur. But I do think we have got a system which is consistent with the national principles, one which businesses can work with and have shown they can work with in other states. I think it is very positive for the ACT that we will have this sort of scheme in place.
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
The Assembly voted—
Ms Le Couteur