Food Policy Win for Queensland
- Post by: Dr Lauren Ball
- May 12, 2019
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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or vacationing in the Outback, you may have heard about the significant food policy win that took place in Queensland last week. Over the long Easter weekend, media throughout the country announced the newly approved policy banning the advertisement of unhealthy foods, drinks, and alcohol on Government-owned advertising spaces.
With the exception of major stadiums in Queensland, this new policy will affect over 2000 advertising spaces throughout the state. This means the rail network, busways, bus shelters, roadsides and advertising space outside major hospitals will no longer be allowed to advertise unhealthy food and drink choices. This is the perfect opportunity to start promoting healthier lifestyle choices.
The policy will come into effect as advertising contracts and leases start to cup up for renewal. Queensland Rail is already calling for tenders for new contracts at 15 of their inner-city stations and on 640 billboards across the state.
Healthcare Facilities Also Changing Drink Options
Employees, visitors and even residents in healthcare facilities will also notice the change in vending machines, kiosks and other outlets thanks to the new food policy that is going into effect. The Health Service Directive, “Healthier Drinks at Healthcare Facilities,” was issued by the Director-General, Mr. Michael Walsh, on April 17, 2019. It was sent to the Hospital and Health Service Chief Executives calling for a change in these facilities.
The directive is a mandatory requirement for all HHSs and supports the strong stance of the Health Minister to phase out all sugary drinks and junk food from healthcare facilities. At this time, Queensland is the only jurisdiction that has made the removal of these types of food and beverages from healthcare facilities mandatory. Queensland Health is leading the country with their strong position in the hopes of helping Australia become healthier. The implementation of the directive also paves the way for future changes and action from other government departments.
The Preventative Health Branch will continue to work with healthcare facilities and owners of all advertising billboards across Queensland to ensure these initiatives are implemented in a timely manner.
For more information on “A Better Choice Drinks Classification Guide” and other healthy initiatives being implemented, go ahead and contact me with any questions.