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Health professionals

Cancer Council WA has expressed disappointment with the outcome that three 24-hour drive through fast food outlets have been approved next to Hammond Park Primary School.

Cancer Council WA Food and Movement Manager, Ainslie Sartori, said it was very upsetting for the clear majority of community members who objected to this proposal or families that have children attending Hammond Park Primary School.

“It’s unfortunate that the Outer Metro Development Panel has approved the development proposal despite the City of Cockburn recommendation for its refusal,” Ms Sartori said.

“Communities do not want drive through 24-hour fast-food outlets on their doorstep or next to schools.

“These outlets sell highly processed, heavily marketed convenience foods that are often sold in large sizes, are nutrient poor, and high in cheap ingredients including salt and sugar, which are bad for our health.

“Evidence shows that fast food outlets next to schools is linked to higher consumption of their unhealthy products. The Department of Education also opposed to this proposal.”

The fast-food outlets include a drive-through McDonald’s, KFC and Starbucks, and a 7 Eleven which will be open 24 hours a day.

In addition, in December 2023, an application was approved for a Neighbourhood Centre that includes two drive-through outlets just one kilometre away.

Ms Sartori said there is urgent need to make community health a priority objective of the way we plan and design our suburbs. Fast food outlets next to and near schools undermines children’s health and families’ efforts to role model healthy behaviour.

“Approving this application means five new drive-through fast food outlets will be within a one kilometre radius in a residential area that includes two primary schools and one secondary school,” she said.

“We support local governments being able to make decisions on land uses that will have a detrimental impact on community health, particularly controlling drive-through fast food outlets close to schools and residential areas.”