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Monday, 4 September 2006
Page: 16

Senator BOB BROWN (Leader of the Australian Greens) (1:41 PM) —That sort of nastiness does not get us very far. Let me just say this again—

Senator Conroy interjecting—

Senator BOB BROWN —Senator Conroy is using the word ‘stupid’, which is what I apologised for—something he will not do. I was not apologising for not having picked up on this issue; I have been talking about it for years. What I was apologising for was not acting on it. But then, when you do walk in here and act on the issue, with very simple, telling, positive, fixing amendments as far as TV advertising is concerned, the best that the opposition, the government and the Democrats can do is say, ‘We shouldn’t have the minister determining what’s a healthy food for children; leave it to the junk food companies.’ What an appalling failure that is. If Senator Conroy knew about this issue, he would not have made that statement. I will put my record up against Ms Gillard’s any time when it comes to health issues in general and this one in particular. What I am saying is that, now that we are able to act on the issue of obesity through this legislation and these amendments, the other parties are letting this opportunity pass. The arguments they have are specious; they simply do not add up. They say: ‘Leave it to the junk food companies. Don’t go with the Greens and put the responsibility onto the minister for health.’ It is an argument that simply does not hold water.