News Item

McGowan must get serious about offensive advertising

Last week was National Child Protection Week. But children in WA continue to be harmed by hyper-sexualised outdoor advertising.

The McGowan Government has introduced legislation to address such advertising on motor vehicles, a problem that has largely disappeared. But its failure to act to protect children from obscene outdoor advertising has prompted the Hon Nick Goiran to launch a parliamentary e-petition.

ACL has long been campaigning to require outdoor advertising to be G-rated. The campaign gained widespread support when a Queensland-based company had “Wicked” campers plying our roads with obscene slogans or hyper-sexualised images. It resulted in most states passing legislation allowing authorities to cancel the registration of offending vehicles. It worked. You don’t see those kinds of slogans on their camper vans anymore!

Almost ten years ago the WA Commissioner for Children released the report Sexualisation of Children. But little has been done to address this issue.

Now that camper vans no longer ply our roads with such sexualised messaging, the WA Labor Government has introduced legislation to amend to the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Act 2012 to provide authorities with the power to cancel, refuse to grant or transfer a vehicle licence if Ad Standards has determined that the advertising on a vehicle is offensive. This legislation addresses a problem that no longer exists, thanks to the legislation passed in other states.

If the government is serious about protecting children from offensive advertising, it needs to introduce legislation that actually protects children, rather than addressing a form of advertising that has pretty much disappeared from our roads!

The Hon. Nick Goiran MLC has facilitated an e-petition to the Legislative Council, calling on the government to address this unacceptable situation. The petition points out that parents can try and protect their children from seeing inappropriate material by using Internet filters, but they are powerless to stop their children seeing obscene or hypersexualised outdoor advertising.

The petition calls on the WA Government to make the protection of children ‘a real priority by urgently tackling harmful hypersexualised advertising in all its forms, rather than just on motor vehicles’.

Add your voice to the petition to call for proper protection of our children from hypersexualised advertising. Please note that the petition is only open to WA residents.

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