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Thursday, 27 March 2014
Page: 3394

Mr COULTON (ParkesThe Nationals Chief Whip) (13:46): I rise to present a petition on behalf of the Country Women's Association of New South Wales.

The petition read as follows—

To the Honourable The Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives

This petition of concerned Country Women's Association members and members of the general public draws to the attention of the House:

Our concern that dangerous 'energy drinks' are sold to minors. Energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine mixed with ingredients like taurine, guarana, glucuronolactone and ginseng which elevates heart rate and blood pressure and disrupts sleep. To children this is dangerous, especially when these beverages can be purchased practically anywhere with no limit as to how many can be bought at the one time. These drinks are chemical concoctions in cute cans and long term effects are not yet known. We protect our children from alcohol and tobacco and believe that energy drinks should also be included on this list.

We therefore ask the House to legislate to ban the sale of energy drinks to children under the age of 18 with proof of age required for purchase.

from 13,287 citizens

Petition received.

Mr COULTON: This petition seeks to ban the sale of energy drinks to children under 18 years of age. Thirteen thousand six hundred members and supporters of the CWA have signed this petition, many of whom are from rural, regional and remote parts of the state of New South Wales, and many of whom are from the electorate of Parkes.

I would particularly like to mention the role that Tanya Cameron, the President of the New South Wales Country Women's Association, has played in facilitating this petition. The CWA has sought to bring this issue to the nation's agenda because energy drinks with high amounts of caffeine and other ingredients can have serious implications for the health of our young people. These drinks can have a detrimental effect on an individual's health, including insomnia, headaches, rapid heart rate, nervousness, hypertension, anxiety, diarrhoea and caffeine dependence. They have the potential to be particularly harmful to young people under the age of 18. The drinks also have the potential to disrupt schooling. I congratulate the CWA on this effective campaign to address this issue. I recommend this petition to the House.