Once more with feeling…Barnaby Joyce on the merits of a sugary drinks tax

Photo: Tongan Health Promotion Foundation   When I looked up from marking exams and saw the look on Barnaby Joyce's face, I just knew he was seeing red about the Grattan Institute’s proposal for a sugary drinks tax, levied at a rate of 40 cents per 100 grams of sugar. The Grattan Institute report estimates … Continue reading Once more with feeling…Barnaby Joyce on the merits of a sugary drinks tax

UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel: a bold vision for improving access to essential medicines, or a “deep disappointment”?

The UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel on Access to Medicines published its final report on 14 September 2016. It took just two days for the US State Department to dismiss the report in a strongly-worded rebuke. The Panel’s recommendations cover a wide area, including countries’ use of the flexibilities contained in TRIPS [the World Trade … Continue reading UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel: a bold vision for improving access to essential medicines, or a “deep disappointment”?

Sydney Health Law’s Food Governance Conference

  In the first week of November, Sydney Health Law will be hosting the Food Governance Conference. The conference is a collaborative endeavor between Sydney Law School and the Charles Perkins Centre, the University of Sydney's dedicated institute for easing the global burden of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The conference also has sponsorship from … Continue reading Sydney Health Law’s Food Governance Conference

Abortion law reform on the horizon in NSW and Queensland

Contrary to popular belief, abortion is not available “on demand” in NSW. The Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) contains three criminal offences relating to abortion. Section 83 creates an offence for unlawfully administering a drug or using any instrument or other means to procure a woman’s miscarriage, Section 82 creates an offence for a woman to … Continue reading Abortion law reform on the horizon in NSW and Queensland

The Callinan inquiry into Sydney’s lock-out laws

A few questions came to mind when I read that former High Court Justice Ian Callinan had been appointed to head the independent inquiry into amendments to NSW’s liquor licensing laws, including the controversial lock-out laws”. Mr Callinan was a member of the High Court when it decided, by a 3:2 majority, that hoteliers owe … Continue reading The Callinan inquiry into Sydney’s lock-out laws

Are these photos the pointy end of tobacco control? Or just another example of what the tobacco industry does best?

If the e-cigarette industry in Australia has a martyr, his name is probably Vince van Heerden. More about him in a moment. Advocates for e-cigarettes claim that they are a healthier alternative to smoking, and provide a ray of hope for desperately addicted smokers. However, before you make up your mind, look at how e-cigarettes … Continue reading Are these photos the pointy end of tobacco control? Or just another example of what the tobacco industry does best?

Named reporting of HIV: A positive step for public health?

In Australia, doctors must notify public health authorities of new cases of HIV/AIDs. However, strict confidentiality requirements apply to the testing, treating and notification of HIV, protecting the identity of patients. As part of its review of the New South Wales Public Health Act 2010, the Department of Health is considering whether to remove these … Continue reading Named reporting of HIV: A positive step for public health?

Advancing global and national health security: lessons from SARS and MERS to Ebola and Zika

Public seminar announcement Over the past decade, the world has faced a series of global health crises involving contagious diseases with pandemic potential. From novel influenzas (H5N1 and H1N1), coronaviruses (SARS, and MERS) to the Ebola and Zika viruses, governments and international organisations have struggled to act quickly and decisively. The consequences loom large in … Continue reading Advancing global and national health security: lessons from SARS and MERS to Ebola and Zika

Democracy is not a spectator sport: more on campaign finance and public health

In October 2015, at the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference, Professor Mike Daube, one of Australia’s best-known public health advocates, gave the closing address. He wore a tie given to him some years ago by an American colleague.  It read: “Democracy is not a spectator sport”. On the back were the words: “Made exclusively for Philip … Continue reading Democracy is not a spectator sport: more on campaign finance and public health