ACT bureaucrats will be forced to swap Freddos for mangoes under an impending ban on fundraiser chocolates in the public service.
The ACT Public Sector Healthy Food and Drink Choices policy dictates that so-called “red food” items — which include chocolates, soft drinks and deep-fried food — must not be supplied in catering, giveaways or fundraisers.
This week, a notice sent out to Government workers explained the ban, which is sure to leave a bad taste in the mouth of sweet-tooths, was health related.
“While chocolate or confectionary fundraisers are often trying to raise money for a good cause, they have a detrimental impact on our health,” it read.
“There is a growing trend for sporting teams and school grounds to fundraise in other ways, which includes offering healthier alternatives.”
One such alternative offered is mangoes, which the memo noted had “proven to be very popular”.
“If you are organising a fundraiser, try suggesting a novel approach like sporting equipment, fruit trays, movie tickets or store vouchers.”
More Government ‘meddling’: Liberals
The Opposition Leader Alistair Coe said the sweet ban was blatant Government overreach.
“Once again … the ACT Government is simply going too far and meddling in people’s lives, when really they should just be staying out of it.”
“I think we need a bit of common sense here.”
While noting he has nothing against fundraising with mangoes, Mr Coe said workers should be able to control their own chocolate-consumption destiny.
“It’s not the role of the government to stipulate what kind of items can be used for fundraising and which ones can’t,” he said.
But the ACT chief minister’s directorate has defended the ban.
Mike Young from the directorate said the government had a role to play in slowing increasing rates of obesity in the state.
“When you consider that one in four adults in the ACT are obese, it’s the government’s view that work that can be done to make healthier choices easier for people should be done,” he said.