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Preventative health must benefit from increased taxation: Greens.



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Rachel Siewert

Preventative health must benefit from increased taxation: Greens

Media Release | Spokesperson Rachel Siewert

Tuesday 1st September 2009, 12:54pm

in

• Health & Wellbeing

• Health Services

The report of the Preventative Health Taskforce, released by Health Minister Nicola Roxon today, is a clear

blueprint and a call for decisive action, according to the Australian Greens.

"The Government now has a clear recipe for how to make a big difference to the health of all Australians.

Their challenge now is simple - get down to it and do it," said Australian Greens health spokesperson

Senator Rachel Siewert in Canberra today.

"The report makes some strong recommendations on tackling the big three health vices - tobacco, alcohol

and junk food. We support the push for a greater emphasis on preventative action to reduce the long-term

costs to our health and our health system, are very keen to see these recommendations put into practice."

"Australia currently spends only 2% of its health dollars on preventative measures - which is clearly short-sighted and very poor by international standards. Its time we lifted our game on prevention."

"The Australian Greens are very clear that we will not be supporting piecemeal taxation measures that

simply raise more revenue for the Government. We expect to see a comprehensive approach taken to

effectively tackling these issues, with any money raised by demand-side measures fed directly back into

complementary health measures," she said.

"Australia has slipped behind the rest of the West on tobacco pricing and lost our focus on education and

awareness on the dangers of smoking. With the Coalition having previously indicated they would support

increasing tobacco tax we expect this may be the next cab off the rank."

"The Greens have been leading the way on tackling junk food advertising and today renew our call on the

Government to support the Green's initiative to ban junk food advertising to children and stand up to the

fast food companies."

"The message is clear - we need to act now. We have a clear blueprint and a call to action - its time to get

on with it," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180