The member for Orange Phil Donato has opposed a call by the Cancer Council to have junk food advertising banned on government property including sporting fields, buses and train stations.
All six candidates for the state seat of Orange attended the Cancer Council's Saving Life candidate forum at the Orange City Bowling Club on Tuesday where they were asked to respond to four Cancer Council initiatives.
A Cancer Council spokeswoman said all the candidates supported to varying degrees introducing a tobacco licensing fee for retailers, banning cigarette vending machines and more government funding for public lymphoedema services.
However she said Mr Donato, was alone in rejecting a junk food advertising ban.
It's the responsibility of parents to see their children have a well-balanced diet.Phil Donato, Member for Orange
Mr Donato said children's health was the responsibility of their parents.
"I just think we are starting to go down the line of a bit of a nanny state if we are going to start banning companies advertising," he said.
"It's about education, children are less active now than what children used to be.
"It's the responsibility of parents to see their children have a well-balanced diet and a healthy life."
Mr Donato said banning government property advertising might lead to a total ban.
"If we go down that slippery slope, what if it doesn't work, are they going to extend it to private property?" he said.
"It's different for cigarettes, they have links to cancer."
Fiona Markwick, the Community Programs Coordinator for Cancer Council Western NSW, said junk food advertising contributed to high levels of child obesity which in turn could lead to cancers as adults.
She said the Cancer Council's Election Priorities 2019 report showed food advertisements promoted unhealthy products including sugary drinks and fast food.
"Seeing these advertisements affect children’s food preferences, encourages them to pester their parents to buy unhealthy products and influences what they eat," it said.
The candidates will also be attending a forum run by Orange City Council on Friday night.
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