17 May 2023
In an Australian first, Tasmania’s Waratah Wynyard council has banned signs for fossil fuel sponsors at all its venues, including sports fields.
Twelve Australian councils have voted to ban fossil fuel sponsorship or advertising, and Waratah Wynyard is the fourth to implement the restrictions.
However, it is the first council to implement a ban on sponsorship signs, which means any sports teams which are sponsored by coal, petroleum or gas companies cannot show sponsor advertising at council venues.
Council voted unanimously to support the suggestion from its Sustainability and Environmental Advisory Panel in April 2023 and adopted the new policy the following May.
Its Sponsorship Signage Policy and Guidelines now says: ‘Sponsorship signage should not: be inappropriate or potentially offensive to the community generally, or any particular community groups or promote gambling, alcohol, fossil fuels or smoking.’
Cr Dillon Roberts told the meeting, “We’re incorporating a new condition in the guidelines to exclude sponsorship by businesses or organisations that advertise fossil fuels, so stuff like gambling, alcohol, tobacco and fossil fuels are no longer welcome to be advertised in our regions.”
Fossil Ad Ban spokesperson, Belinda Noble said, “We congratulate Waratah Wynyard for taking control of their community venues and ensuring they are not used to promote companies that harm the health and future of residents.”
“Burning fossil fuels creates particulate air pollution that contributes to thousands of deaths in Australia every year and fossil fuels are also the main cause of global warming that is already harming Tasmania’s unique and globally significant environment.”