South Australian watchdog’s attempt to regulate chicken schnitzel size leaves Senator Nick Xenophon gobsmacked

chicken schnitzel

A move by a South Australian waste watchdog to attempt to regulate the size of chicken schnitzels served in Adelaide eateries has drawn a stunned response by politicians and members of the small business community, including independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

According to the ABC, Keep South Australia Beautiful (KSAB) has commenced talks with the state government to start a trial that will see it monitor the size of schnitzels served at pubs and restaurants in a bid to reduce food waste and landfill.

“We have to be innovative and look at good ideas, and this is one that’s come up,” KSAB chief executive John Phillips said.

“Sometimes I watch the body language of people when the meal comes out — their jaw drops literally when they see the size of some of the meals and a lot of the product is left on the plate.

“This is about educating people to look at their habits or behaviour so they can take a personal responsibility.”

As a government-funded agency, Phillips says this measure would be a part of its responsibility to reduce waste and landfill.

But the proposal has left independent Senator Nick Xenophon and others gobsmacked.

Xenophon told SmartCompany this morning KSAB’s proposed “lean cuisine” approach to tackling environmental issues is unreasonable for business operators.

“I’ve heard of government being lean and mean but this is taking it to the next level,” Xenophon says.

“Is there going to be a schnitzel tax?

“There are better ways to tackle the problem than an assault on chicken schnitzels.

“It’s a question of an education campaign and driving awareness, it needs a cultural shift. You don’t do it by regulation, people will resent that.”

Peter Strong, chief executive of the Council for Small Business Australia, echoes the sentiment, calling KSAB’s actions “embarrassing” and “hilarious”.

“Unless Adelaide is full of schnitzels, it’s such a minor issue,” Strong told SmartCompany.

“If we start doing that, we’re going to have to regulate the size of hot dogs and bread.”

Strong says a better use of the waste watchdog’s time would be to look at what bigger businesses are doing and how they’re performing on important issues like recycling.

And for small businesses, he says the agency should be looking at innovative ways to make it easier for them to switch to recyclable packaging.

“Most small businesses do think about their environmental impact,” he says.

“They regulate themselves.”

“There are ways to help people with recycling, help them get good at it and make recyclable packaging more feasible.”

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Daniel Mumby
4 years ago

“I have some deck chairs that need re-organizing”, said the captain of the Titanic.
Where’s the focus on big issues, like unemployment, productivity, environmental waste (I could go on & on)?

Prepagan
Prepagan
4 years ago
Reply to  Daniel Mumby

Ah, the fallacy of relative privation.

All it seems to take is one media article regarding one of KSAB’s (admittedly more ‘out there’) ideas and 99% of an organisation’s work is marginalised and diminished.

Why don’t we hear more in the media of KSAB’s work? – Probably, because it is boring and mundane in that it is simply ‘sensible’ and ‘sound’, therefore not newsworthy. Make a half-baked reference to the size of schitzels; however, and commenters can’t wait to weigh in with popularistic indignation.

Great stuff!

Graham9772
Graham9772
4 years ago
Reply to  Daniel Mumby

We should certainly focus on the big issues and you have named a few but there are small issues that we can fix on the way. I agree that I couldnt give a dman about the size of schnitzels but its one issue in the expensive field of public health. Health science demands huge amounts of money yet there are solutions to many problems that will cost almost nothing Sugar in soft drinks is one of them. Next time you are in a supermarket look at people buying a dozen large cokes. Generally they are obviously obese and they are raising a family of obese children. Why should you care? because we havent reached the point where we say “let them die” so your taxes will be paYING FOR diabetes treatment, kidney dialysis, pensions when they have their legs amputed, blind pensions and lots of other things. There goes your happy old age. You’ll be paying taxes to keep these other people alive but very unhappy. Sounds like a great future.
Yes lots of big issues but many of them are composed of lots of little issues

Rohan
Rohan
4 years ago

If these unacountable, unelected NGO’s start forcing/producing rubbish policies like this, then the government needs to permanently defund them of Tax Payer moneys. Let them sink or swim with their own commercial realities.

I call it the “Keep Australia Competitive Campaign (KACC)”. #KACC

Graham9772
Graham9772
4 years ago

There are areas that we accept government control in important areas like health. A current example is the desire to reduce the community’s sugar consumption. Just about every medical expert (who is not paid by vested interests) agree on the bemefits. One solution adopted in UK is a tax on sugary drinks. Bad answer. Better is an imposed limit on the amount of sugar in any drink being sold. If I heard a howl of protest then why do we limit the amount of caffiene or taurine or other such substances? Why force people to drink 5 Red Bulls when they could just drink one? Because it will do them immediate short term harm. Why limit sugar Because it will cause medium term harm. Why do it at all? Because healthy citizens cost less to run so the future community will spend less on health care and we will lose less talent from people dying early. And perhaps healthy people will be HAPPIER in the long term and thank us for our concern.

Frank
Frank
4 years ago

Micro-management of people’s affairs is a sign that the government is too big, too powerful and has a socialist agenda. Keep South Australia Beautiful has no business in dictating what people can or cannot eat. South Australia government should be more worried about the expensive cost of electricity, living a green utopia subsidised by other states.

Ken
Ken
4 years ago

This demonstrates a level of stupidity which, thankfully, only exists in South Australia. Freeway to nowhere anyone ?