Monday, 23 November 2015
Health and Wellbeing
That the Senate notes that:
(a) it is not the role of government to tell people what to eat and that individuals have a responsibility for their own health and wellbeing;
(b) a key to improving the health of Australians is by helping them make healthier choices about their food;
(c) actions such as the new Healthy Food Partnership, the voluntary Health Star Rating system and the Sporting Schools Initiative will tackle obesity and encourage healthy eating through educating consumers about fresh produce and appropriate portion sizes; and
(d) heavy handed government intervention through taxes and bans will only limit a person's choice and not improve long term results through increased individual responsibility.
Through you, Mr Deputy President, the motions coming from Senator Canavan are starting to become a little embarrassing. Here we have Senator Canavan wanting to take us to where China was during the berries scandal. What we want, according to Senator Canavan, is not for the government to intervene in our daily lives. We want people to be able to eat what they want, when they want it, without the heavy-handed intervention of government. Really, this stuff is starting to become embarrassing. What next? Are we going to allow smoking advertising back on the TV? Why don't we have that? What about billboards? Let's bring the Benson & Hedges billboards back to the MCG. Come on, let's do that! What about alcohol advertising? Why don't we advertise VB and Bundy during Sesame Street, Senator Canavan? This stuff—really! We are wasting our time again?
I seek leave because I have two confessions to make. My first confession is that I have only just learnt from the Greens with regard to the motions I put forward. I have long been a student of the motions that the Greens have put forward in this chamber over many years. I remember one day they moved a motion in support of Go Home On Time Day—a motion that held us back from going home from work on time. They moved that motion. When they accuse other senators of moving frivolous and vexatious motions, I take it as a great compliment.
My second confession is that sometimes I do like to eat a Quarter Pounder or a Big Mac or a pepperoni pizza. I confess that. As you can probably tell from looking at me, sometimes I give in to those desires and eat those particular products—and I do not think that is a bad thing. The coalition does not think that is necessarily a bad thing in moderation. It is completely different from smoking tobacco—that is ridiculous—because people can enjoy themselves without killing themselves and without the Greens overseeing every meal they have.
Question agreed to.