Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale has announced a new tax on sugary sweetened beverages to help tackle Australia's obesity epidemic.
"We have a major health crisis on our hands with over a quarter of Australian adults and children overweight or obese," said Senator Di Natale who was a general practitioner and public health specialist before he entered politics.
30% of the added sugar kids consume comes from sweetened drinks, contributing to weight gain and a risk of diabetes, in particular for kids.
"Sugary sweetened beverages are a major contributor to increasing rates of childhood obesity and if this trend continues our children may be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents."
Earlier this year, Jamie Oliver laid down a challenge to Australia and called on us to follow the UK and introduce a tax of sugary soft drinks.
"The Australian Greens accept that challenge, and would introduce a 20 percent tax on sugary drinks which the evidence shows will reduce uptake by at least 12 percent.
"Every cent of the expected $500 million per year raised by the tax on sweetened drinks will be reinvested back into positive health initiatives for Australians.
"Over four years $2 billion could be raised by ensuring that sugary sweetened drink manufacturers contribute to the harms their product causes.
This tax is part of a broader prevention strategy for obesity, including clear food labelling; restricting junk food advertising to children; and encouraging physical activity through active transport.
"The sweetest part of this policy will be the longer term benefits to Australians by reducing chronic disease and achieving better health outcomes," Dr Di Natale said.