Heart Foundation WA joins residents in opposition to Woolworths food court fight

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 1st November 2012

Margaret River residents have been joined by the Heart Foundation in Western Australia to oppose the development of a Woolworths centre food court to house fast food chains.

Woolworths has denied its proposal for the 121-seat food court in the new Woolworths complex had a commitment to a fast food retailer. Furthermore, Woolworths says the Margaret River township already has an Eagle Boys Pizza and a Subway.

The Woolworths statement said that its food court would be a “necessary” change to allow bakery products, hot food, and a fish and chips store in the centre.

The opposition to the Woolworths proposal has included 350 submissions from residents in Margaret River. The coastal town south-west of Perth is known for its wineries, fresh produce, high quality dairy and is a tourist destination and retirement area.

The submissions from residents opposing the Woolworths food court have been backed by the WA Heart Foundation’s Live Lighter campaign. Heart Foundation WA Chief Maurice Swanson said that if approved, the food court was a short distance from the primary school and that this was concerning.

“While fast food is unhealthy at any stage of life, young children are targeted by junk food marketing and should be educated about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle,” Mr Swanson said.

The Heart Foundation WA has issued a statement urging people from Western Australia to boycott the Woolworths alleged fast food plans. Mr Swanson said in a statement that it is not just about the impact on the local culture, but the impact fast food has on increasing the number of overweight children and adults.

According to the Heart Foundation WA, claiming support of figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Western Australia has the highest proportion of overweight and obese people in Australia, as 66.3 per cent of adults in WA are said to be overweight or obese.

The Woolworths full proposal is expected to be considered by the Margaret River council within the next couple of months.