Soft drinks banned from schools

THE ACT government will ban the sale of soft drink in vending machines at Canberra public schools by the end of this school term.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher

Sugary drinks will also be removed from public school canteens by the end of this year as part of the “Fresh Tastes” program, a partnership between ACT Health and the ACT Education and Training Directorate.

Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher says the government is taking a “firm approach” to tackle ACT’s rising rate of childhood obesity.

“We must not allow the next generation of children to grow up with the same bad eating and drinking habits that some adults are now paying the price for,” Ms Gallagher said.

Minister for Education and Training Joy Burch says the phasing out of sugary drinks would be accompanied by increased provision of water refill stations and reusable drink bottles in government schools.

“The rate of overweight or obese children is increasing and through this initiative it will be easier for children to make good food and drink choices when they are at school,” Ms Burch said.

“It will also create a learning environment where children can more easily concentrate as we know that children who eat and drink healthy food and drinks, perform better at school.

“Over recent years schools have made progress in this area with a range of garden and food preparation programs available as well as canteens providing more healthy options. Fresh Tastes will take this further and build on a comprehensive approach to combating obesity across the school setting.”

Further information can be obtained by emailing


Fresh Tastes is a partnership between ACT Health and the ACT Education and Training Directorate.

Funding for Fresh Tastes is provided from the Australian Government under the National Partnership

Agreement on Preventive Health.


“The ban on sugary drinks will not apply to occasional fetes and fundraisers held twice per term,

although the government hopes that by sending a strong message about access to sugary drinks, fetes

and fundraisers will also look to provide healthier alternatives,” the Chief Minister concluded.


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