Cancer Council pleased to see health prevention on Victorian agenda

Monday 17 November, 2014

Cancer Council Victoria welcomed yesterday's announcement that a re-elected Liberal government would commit $127.2 million to tackle rising rates of obesity and chronic illness.

Cancer Council released its election priorities in July, and is calling on all political parties to back the measures designed to prevent, treat and research cancer as well support all Victorians affected by the disease. The priorities include saving the SunSmart program and introducing mandatory kilojoule labelling on fast food menus.

Yesterday, Premier Denis Napthine and Health Minister David Davis outlined a four-year $127 million health prevention package that, if the party is re-elected, will be spent on programs including:

  • $20 million to continue successful health prevention program Healthy Together Victoria;
  • $32 million for anti-smoking advertising campaigns, stop smoking programs, and education and enforcement on tobacco; and
  • $1 million to grow the number of Victorian health services supporting patients to be smoke-free.

Earlier this year the state government partnered with Cancer Council and the Heart Foundation to deliver the state's first graphic obesity television campaign known as LiveLighter, and has already committed to introducing a smoking ban in outdoor dining areas.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said it was critical that public awareness campaigns about the health risks of smoking, sun exposure, obesity and alcohol were all maintained over the long term.

"In particular, we are asking for a public commitment from all political parties for an annual investment of $3.2 million to keep running our iconic and internationally-renowned SunSmart program, which is due to lose the bulk of its funding in 2016," Mr Harper said.

"SunSmart saves lives and money. In fact, for every dollar spent on SunSmart the government saves $3.60 in healthcare."

Mr Harper said the Cancer Council will update all its supporters on the health commitments made by all political parties prior to the November 29 state election.