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Govt urged to stare down big business’ threats and enact a sugar levy?

Public Health Association of Australia 2 mins read

Govt urged to stare down big business’ threats and enact a sugar levy  

Media release

3 July 2024

The public health community has applauded a new parliamentary report into the causes of and solutions for diabetes and obesity, and encourages the Australian Government to stand firm against the push from big business to again dilute action on harmful, sugary products. 

"The State of Diabetes Mellitus in Australia in 2024 report outlines a suite of measures to address many of the causes of diabetes and obesity in Australia, which if acted on will greatly advance the health and wellbeing of people living with those conditions," Public Health Association of Australia CEO, Adj Prof Terry Slevin, said.    

"Recommendations such as food labelling reform (recommendation 1), a sugar-sweetened beverages levy (recommendation 4), and other evidence such as from the Grattan Institute and the National Preventive Health Strategy, all build the case for government action.    

"We're particularly pleased by the committee's recommendation 5, for the Australian Government to consider regulating the advertising and marketing of unhealthy food to children under 16 via gaming and online platforms, in addition to TV and radio." 

"Simultaneously, the Albanese Government must push back against vested interests and their enablers who refuse to tweak their products to improve people's health.   

"Tackling obesity and diabetes is the next big public health challenge after e-cigarettes and tobacco control. The Albanese Government listened to the community and took strong action in recent months to tackle Big Tobacco and Big Vapes’ push to get younger people addicted to their harmful products. We encourage the government to fight the ultra processed food sector with the same vigour. 

"We commend committee chair, Dr Mike Freelander MP, his committee, his office, the committee secretariat, and all the individuals and organisations which contributed to this inquiry." 



For further information/comment: 

Paris Lord (he/him), PHAA Communications & Media Manager, 0478 587 917,    

About us:

About the Public Health Association of Australia 

We’re Australia's peak body for public health and advocate for the health and wellbeing of everyone. We strive to help prevent, rather than cure, illness and disease.   

Our campaigns and activities span numerous public health issues from environmental health, immunisation and pandemic control, through to tobacco, gambling, physical activity, junk food marketing, preventive mental health, health education and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.   

Our 2,000+ individual members represent over 40 professional groups interested in the promotion of public health. We also have branches in every state and territory.   

Learn more at 

Contact details:

Paris Lord (he/him), PHAA Communications & Media Manager, 0478 587 917,    


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