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Tuesday, 15 August 1972
Page: 17


Senator DONALD CAMERON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - J ask the Minister for Health: When will the proposed warning that smoking is a health hazard be required to appear on cigarette packets? When does the Government propose to proclaim the appropriate legislation?


Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON -

The labelling of cigarette packets with a warning as to the risks involved in cigarette smoking is a State matter and the Commonwealth's commitment can be only in relation to the Commonwealth territories, namely, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. As Minister for Health I did have discussions with Health Ministers from the States in order to get a uniform date for the introduction of the labelling of cigarette packets. It was believed that the uniform date would be 1st January next year. However, since then some States have indicated, without departing from the principle of the matter, some variation as to the date of operation. For instance, I understand that the new Tasmanian Government has indicated that 1st May is the appro priate date. I understand that the New South Wales Government has also indicated that 1st May is the appropriate date. However, Victoria has indicated 1st January next year as its date of operation. I hope I am not wrong on this but my understanding is that the Western Australian Government has indicated 1st January next year also. The South Australian Government has indicated that it will bring this proposal into operation when 3 States have brought it into effect. The Queensland Government has indicated that it will bring it into operation when all the other States have brought it into effect. So this is a bit of a grey area, but as I see the situation now it is definite that Victoria and one other State - I think it is Western Australia - will put the proposal into effect on 1st January next year. At (east 2 States have suggested that at the moment they are looking critically at 1st May next year as their commencing date. So far as the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory are concerned, because cigarettes are not manufactured and packaged in our Territories, we will be influenced by what happens in the States. It is my hope and desire that the Commonwealth will make it applicable as from 1st January of next year.

Whilst I am on my feet I would like to make an announcement about legislation which was passed by both Houses of the Parliament during the last session regarding cigarette advertising on television and radio and the warning which is to come into effect on a date to be proclaimed. The Postmaster-General has informed me that it is proposed that the proclamation become effective from 1st January of next year.







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