The Advocate (Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Sarah Brookes

MORE than 100 res­i­dents ral­lied over the week­end against plans to build a McDonald’s be­hind the his­toric Guild­ford Ho­tel, with calls for plan­ning leg­is­la­tion to take into ac­count the health im­pact and loss of her­itage val­ues junk food out­lets can have on the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Heart Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Mau­rice Swan­son said the pro­posed McDonald’s was less than 100m from Guild­ford Pri­mary School.

“Un­for­tu­nately cur­rent plan­ning leg­is­la­tion does not in­clude con­sid­er­a­tion of the health im­pact that junk food out­lets can have on the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” he said.

“We know that 25 per cent of WA chil­dren are over­weight or obese. They don’t need an­other junk food out­let less than 100m from the school gate.

“The in­creas­ing num­ber of junk food out­lets means even more pres­sure is placed on fam­i­lies to eat junk food and comes at a time when par­ents and chil­dren are be­ing

bom­barded, in ev­ery form of me­dia, by junk food ad­ver­tis­ing and pro­mo­tion.

“The Heart Foun­da­tion urges the lo­cal com­mu­nity to rise up against this tide of junk food avail­abil­ity and pro­mo­tion and calls for a change to fast food out­let zon­ing and plan­ning leg­is­la­tion to en­able health im­pacts to be con­sid­ered.”

Mid­land MLA Michelle Roberts ad­dressed the rally and said she was 100

per cent be­hind the com­mu­nity’s op­po­si­tion to build­ing a McDonald’s in the heart of the town.

“We’re get­ting picked off one by one here in Guild­ford,” she said.

“We need the City of Swan to prop­erly recog­nise the her­itage val­ues of Guild­ford and ini­ti­ate a plan­ning scheme amend­ment that pro­hibits fast food out­lets in this precinct.

“If we have a ban on

fast food out­lets in our lo­cal plan­ning scheme then the Joint De­vel­op­ment As­sess­ment Panel (JDAP), who will be de­cid­ing on the fate of this pro­posal, will not be able to ap­prove it and we would not have to fight off an­other fast food out­let.”

Swan coun­cil­lor Ian John­son told the crowd the JDAP process should be abol­ished.

“Our com­mu­nity is clearly not be­ing prop­erly rep­re­sented by the JDAP,” he said.

“Plan­ning de­ci­sions should be made by lo­cal coun­cils and by coun­cil­lors, who are the peo­ple our com­mu­nity has elected to rep­re­sent them.”

Dr Jeni Hood said Guild­ford did not need a McDonald’s.

“We have a jewel in our crown with the re­cently re­stored Guild­ford Ho­tel and to cram a McDonald’s be­hind it is a slap in the face,” she said.

“We all know obe­sity is a prob­lem and McDonald’s uses ad­ver­tis­ing to suck kids in and buy their prod­uct.

“We don’t need that in Guild­ford.”

Eleven-year-old Guild­ford Gram­mar stu­dent Harry agreed and be­lieved a McDonald’s in Guild­ford would make WA’s most fit school fat.

“Guild­ford Pri­mary School was found to be one of the fittest schools in Aus­tralia,” he said.

“We don’t need to en­cour­age peo­ple to eat more fast food, we have lots of these places al­ready.”

Stu­dents demon­strated their op­po­si­tion to hav­ing a fast food out­let so near to a lo­cal school.

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