Cancer Council WA has expressed disappointment following the decision by the City of Canning Mayor and majority of Councillors to commence a new procurement based on a scope which permits the display of alcohol and junk food advertising.
Cancer Council WA Cancer Prevention and Research Director, Melissa Ledger, said the City of Canning Mayor and Councillors had the chance to put community health first, but they didn’t make that commitment, instead sending a clear message to residents that their health comes second to profits.
“We are disappointed the interests of alcohol, junk food and advertising industries have been put ahead of the health and wellbeing of residents of City of Canning,” Ms Ledger said.
“Local Councils have an important role to play in restricting alcohol and junk food marketing, but the City of Canning didn’t take that role seriously. The Mayor of City of Canning just put the fox in charge of the hen house when it comes to alcohol advertising.
“Exposing children and young people to alcohol product marketing increases the likelihood that they will start drinking earlier and drink at risky levels, and we know junk food ads influence children and young people’s brand awareness, what they want to buy, and eat and for children, what they pester their parents for.”
Ms Ledger said all levels of government need to play their part and protect the community from the profit-making motives of the junk food, alcohol and advertising industry.
“We’ve had great leadership from the State Government on restricting alcohol advertising on state government property, and they are working hard to deliver strong restrictions for Junk food advertising” she said.
“The role of local government is not to help unhealthy industries target children. The role of local government is to side with and support the community.”
“This decision was not unanimous; three Councillors voted against the alternative motion put forward by the Mayor, and we celebrate that these Councillors value the health of the residents they represent above profits.”