An alcohol ad ban is being introduced at Queensland Government owned properties.
Health minister Steven Miles said the ban – which will also extend to junk food advertising – will improve Queenslanders’ health.
Miles said the decision was in response to a quarter of Queensland children being overweight or obese, with unhealthy food and drink constituting 37% of Queensland’s energy intake.
“As a priority, we have set an ambitious target to increase the proportion of adults and children with a healthy body weight by 10% by 2026,” he said.
“We spend millions of dollars promoting healthy, happy living; yet we allow ads on government spaces and near our schools and hospitals that are not in line with that message. We, as a government, need to lead by example and that’s exactly what these ad restrictions will achieve.”
Alcohol ads will be phased out from the rail network, busways, bus shelters, roadsides and outside major hospitals.
Miles said the ban would not apply to advertising space in stadiums, as those contracts were “much more complicated”.
Rail commuters will be the first to notice the change, with Queensland Rail calling for tenders for new contracts at 15 inner-city stations and 640 billboards sites across the state.
The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol (NAAA) welcomed the alcohol ad ban announcement.
NAAA Co-Chair Dr John Crozier said: “We know that greater exposure to alcohol advertising results in children being more likely to drink alcohol at a younger age and at riskier levels. The Queensland Government should be congratulated for taking this important step to remove alcohol advertising from Government owned property and reduce children’s exposure to alcohol advertising.”
However, deputy opposition leader Tim Mander slammed the alcohol ad ban.
“Instead of fixing the hospital crisis, Labor has dreamt up a knee-jerk, nanny-state initiative,” Mander told The Courier Mail.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk should be worrying about hospital beds, not billboards. Labor promised an anti-obesity commission in 2015, but that was another media stunt too. If Labor wanted to tackle obesity, it wouldn’t have cut $300,000 from the preventive health budget.”