SOUTH AUSTRALIAN SENATOR SLAMS GOVERNMENT FOR DELAYING ACTION TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM BUTTON BATTERY EXPOSURE
South Australian Senator Marielle Smith has this week in the Senate slammed the Liberal-National Government for delaying action to protect Australian children from potentially deadly button batteries.
On February 11, Senator Smith successfully moved a motion in the Senate calling on the Government to use their available regulatory powers to make the voluntary code that governs button battery safety mandatory.
Globally at least 64 children have died and twenty Australian children present each week at hospital emergency departments, after ingesting button batteries.
The ACCC has found that the 2016 voluntary code for button safety has not led to a meaningful decrease in the rate of button battery exposures, and a high level of unsafe button battery products remain on the market.
‘I am calling on the Government to immediately move to make sure that button battery containing products in the Australian market are safe,’ Senator Smith said.
‘We know that button batteries are a serious danger to young children. We know this because Coronial Inquests have told us this, the ACCC has told us this, and parents across Australia have told us this,’ she said.
“The only sure way to keep children safe from button batteries is to stop children from being exposed to button batteries. And at present in Australia our laws are failing to keep children safe from button batteries,” she said.
In response to Senator Smith’s motion, the Government offered only excuses for continued delays.
‘The time for excuses and delay is over. The time for action to protect our children is now,’ Senator Smith said.
‘When there is something Government can do to make the job of keeping kids safe any easier, then surely they have a responsibility to act,’ she said.
The Government must act to protect Australian children by immediately using its regulatory and legislative powers to ensure products containing button batteries are safe.
FRIDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2020