Page 3743 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 24 August 2011

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requirements. There was not any rush or push to put them in. It was largely based on the input we received from them and from other studies that had been done into health impacts of diet. It was urged on us that these be included. This was also the case in New South Wales when it was put forward. In particular, it is not just on obesity but on heart disease and dental health that these particular aspects have large impacts, and that is why it is something we would like to see considered.

Again in terms of the timing, there was no rush or anything. It was actually about making sure these things were included. As I said, we were very willing to work with ACT Health on what would work for them. And they did express concern about this item, as I said, when we had initial discussions. They thought that it could be burdensome if we had to do a wide-ranging nutritional, science-style investigation. They were also concerned about some of the wording around this in terms of being able to build on work done elsewhere.

I just add again that it was never our intention to actually have anything excluded or for it to be done in a particular way. Again, as we said in those meetings we had with Health, it was whatever would work for them really. We were quite happy to work with them because they are the ones that are going to have to undertake this. It was rather wanting to, as I said, set a time at which the government could consider the scheme could be expanded on. This might have been something had we got to it, but it was not deemed appropriate. It was just something that we would like to see considered and that groups like the Heart Foundation and the Dietitians Association would like to see considered.

The Greens agree that it is better to have a wider time frame—and that was one of the things we were hoping to get input from ACT Health on—and incorporate work done from other jurisdictions. It was never our intention that this would not be the case. In fact, in discussions we had, we said that we thought it would just be something you would do, that you would build on work that was done in New South Wales or you would look at what was done in the US, just as an example, and that the type of study you did would be what you deemed was appropriate. So we did make those concerns known, and we were very pleased to see this amendment come forward. Again on consistency, I would point out that these are actually the national principles that have been agreed to. This is consistent with those principles. It is something other jurisdictions are going to have to do.

Again about some rush, I would go to the fact this is about diet. Diet has a big impact on people’s health, and we have to start addressing it. It takes time to come into effect, it takes time to impact on people, and we cannot keep delaying it. We know it has been discussed for many years already at a national level, and it is time to start moving on it.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 6 agreed to.

Clause 7.

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