The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport
20 February 2017
The Australian Government is taking action to tackle the challenge of obesity and encourage all Australians to live healthy lives.
But unlike the Labor Party, we don’t believe increasing the family grocery bill at the supermarket is the answer to this challenge.
We already have programmes in place to educate, support and encourage Australians to adopt and maintain a healthy diet and to lead an active life – and there’s more to be done.
Earlier this month, the Prime Minister flagged that the Government will soon be announcing a new focus on preventive health that will give people the right tools and information to live active and healthy lives. This will build on the significant work already underway.
Yesterday, we launched the second phase of the $7 million Girls Make Your Move campaign to increase physical activity for girls and young women. This is now being rolled out across Australia.
Our $160 million Sporting Schools program is getting kids involved in physical activity. Already around 6,000 schools across the country have been involved – with many more to come. This is a great programme that Labor wants to axe.
Our Health Star Rating system helps people to make healthier choices when choosing packaged foods at the supermarket and encourages the food industry to reformulate their products to be healthier.
The Healthy Weight Guide website provides useful advice including tips and tools to encourage physical activity and healthy eating to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
The Healthy Food Partnership with the food industry and public health groups is increasing people’s health knowledge and is supporting them to make healthier food and drink choices in order to achieve better health outcomes.
We acknowledge today’s report, but it does not take into account a number of the Government programs now underway.
Obesity and poor diets are complex public health issue with multiple contributing factors, requiring a community-wide approach as well as behaviour change by individuals. We do not support a new tax on sugar to address this issue.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are already effectively discounted as they do not have a GST applied.
Whereas the GST is added to the cost of items such as chips, lollies, sugary drinks, confectionery, snacks, ice-cream and biscuits.
We’re committed to tackling obesity, but increasing the family’s weekly shop at the supermarket isn’t the answer.
Click here for the full media release.