New Chance for Alcopop Tax?
The Federal Government should move immediately to secure the revenue already collected from its alcopops tax by announcing a trial buyback of alcohol advertising in sport, the AMA said today.
Some non-government Senators have indicated they are supportive of the plan proposed by the AMA last week for the Government to spend some of the revenue from the alcopops tax on a trial of “buying back” alcohol advertising during sporting events. Agreeing to the buyback trial may convince the Senate to approve new alcopops tax legislation.
AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, called on the Government to move quickly to ensure it was not forced to refund $340 million worth of alcopops tax revenue which has already been collected.
“This is too good an opportunity to pass up. By funding an advertising buy-back, the Government will not only be protecting the alcopops tax; it will be protecting children from exposure to alcohol advertising during sporting events,” Dr Capolingua said.
“Replacing tobacco sponsorship of sport in Victoria and Western Australia with public health campaigns helped save lives. Now it’s time to do the same thing with alcohol advertising.
“A carefully-evaluated trial of buying back alcohol advertising during sporting events – especially during events watched during children’s television viewing times - should begin as soon as possible.”
Dr Capolingua said reducing the exposure of young people to alcohol advertising was one of a range of measures needed to combat binge drinking among Australian teenagers and young adults.
“Alcohol abuse can set young people up for a lifetime of health problems. It’s been estimated one Australian teenager dies, and more than 60 are hospitalised, from alcohol-related problems every week,” she said.
“We need a sustained campaign, including new advertising and marketing restrictions, volumetric taxation, education campaigns and early intervention measures to start making real inroads into this problem.”
March 31 2009
Peter Jean 02 6270 5464/ 0427 209 753
Kirk Coningham 02 6270 5477 / 0417 142 46