Building the Australian Nanny State
IPA REVIEW ARTICLE
Victorian Deputy Premier Rob Hulls has announced an additional $35,000 of funding for Auskick programs to provide bibs and waist bags to identify volunteers who had met working with children checks.
V-chip for Australia
The Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts has recommended that parental content controls be mandatory on all new digital televisions and set top boxes. This technology is already in use in the USA (known as the V-Chip) where only 15 per cent who have the device bother using it.
Manly City Council in NSW is undoubtedly the epicentre of the Nanny State in Australia. Attempts have been made to ban the sale of bubblegum in shopping centres, the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores, smoking on the beach, plastic bags and the sale of bottled water at public events.
Run for your life
Soft drinks, chocolate bars, lollies and ice-cream are likely to become the next victim of the Nanny State. In Victoria, the sale of soft drinks at government schools has already been banned, with all confectionary to be phased out by the end of the year as part of the ‘go for your life' Healthy Canteen Package. The most exciting snack on the menu is a frozen banana on a stick.
Groups such as the Australian Medical Association are calling for a ban on junk food advertising targeting children, a proposal which was strongly rejected by the Howard government. Adult obesity rates are much higher than children's rates in Australia; perhaps parents should consider leading by example rather than blaming snap, crackle and pop.
The Howard Government tried to make the internet safe for children with their free parental content control software called net nanny. The initiative was underutilised; Telstra stated that only one per cent of its customers utilised the software. The Rudd government will go further by ensuring all internet feeds are censored. Users must opt out to receive an uncensored feed.