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Wednesday, 16 June 2004
Page: 30516

Mr LATHAM (2:04 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Does the government support the continued advertising of junk food and sugary drinks during children's television programs? Prime Minister, given the influence advertising can have on children, and the importance of this issue, will the government now join with Labor in supporting a ban on junk food advertising during children's television programs?

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER —Order! The Prime Minister has the call and he is being denied it by those behind him.

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —I have to say to the Leader of the Opposition: I think that is something for parents. I thought the Leader of the Opposition was interested in parental responsibility. There has got to be a limit, you know.

Mr Sidebottom —What about cigarettes?

The SPEAKER —The member for Braddon! I expected that the Prime Minister should have been able to answer the question without interruption from those behind him, and he is certainly entitled not to be interrupted by anyone in the House.

Mr HOWARD —We have a lot of advertising bans in this country—

Opposition members interjecting—

Mr HOWARD —Not enough, say some people opposite—and I think governments have to be very reluctant to embrace too willingly the nanny state in banning this, that or the other. The question of what children eat is ultimately the responsibility of their parents, and it is about time that the Leader of the Opposition stood up for parental responsibility instead of trying to throw everything over to the government. We will never build a nation of independent, proud, self-reliant people until we reinforce—indeed revive—the notion of parental responsibility for their children.

Mr Tanner —But they're not allowed to see lesbians on TV!

The SPEAKER —Order! The member for Melbourne! The member for McEwen! The member for Lindsay!

The SPEAKER —Order! If no other language is understood by the member for Melbourne, I will take action against him.