The Australian Senate’s Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic has tabled a report with 22 recommendations including the need for a government tax on sugary drinks, mandated Health Star Ratings on food packaging and a ban on junk food ads on television until 9.00pm.

Nothing short of these measures will be effective in helping reduce Australia’s alarming obesity rates - 63 per cent of adults and 27 per cent of children aged 5 to 17 are overweight or obese - according to the multi-party committee, chaired by GP and Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale.

One Hundred Years of Dirt

One Hundred Years of Dirt
Rick Morton
Melbourne University Press - 191pp

Although relatively short this memoir by Rick Morton comes across as a number of books in one, mostly very moving and something of a wake-up call for those who would discriminate against rural dwellers, people of differing sexualities and those with mental health conditions.


The author, who rose from dirt poor Queensland roots to become a senior journalist with The Australian, fits all three categories and harbours understandable anger for many of his life experiences.

Australian doctors must jump through the hoops if they wish to prescribe medicinal cannabis. Alternatively, their patients can buy CBD oil at their local weekend market. Robin Osborne reports…

Various countries (notably Canada, and to an extent, Portugal and Peru) and a number of major US states have either legalized or decriminalised cannabis containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that will get you ‘high’. In other places, notably the UK, sellers and buyers of low-THC cannabidiol (packaged as CBD oil) are not liable for prosecution.

Lismore psychiatrist Harry Freeman is a straight talker whose words may not please everyone, especially lawyers, doctors and politicians when it comes to discussing cannabis.
“The only objections to a sensible approach on cannabis availability and consumption come from those in positions of authority,” said Dr Freeman over a green tea in a Lismore café.
“They talk nonsense, bring nothing to the subject but prejudice and ignorance, and have done so for too many years. All this stuff about the supposed harm caused by consuming marijuana is total rubbish.”

The photo features (L-R): Dr Ian Falson from Ballina, Dr Mark Rikard-Bell from Muswellbrook, Dr Delma Mullins from Muswellbrook,  Dr Neroli Lawrence from South Grafton, Dr Richard Abbott from Scone, Dr Peter Lee from Singleton, Dr Anil Thakur from Maclean and Dr Chris McKenzie from Ballina. Photo provided by NSW RDN

Ballina GPs Ian Falson and Chris McKenzie are among the regionally based doctors to win a prestigious 2018 NSW Rural Medical Service Award. Drs Falson and McKenzie were honoured for their long-standing medical service at the presentation dinner hosted by the NSW Rural Doctors Network in Sydney last week.

The Rural Medical Service Award recognises GPs who have provided 35 years or more of medical service to the people of rural, regional and remote NSW.