Political donations from Tobacco: ADCA takes aim

Press release from ADCA:

ADCA Targets Political Donations from Tobacco/ Alcohol Industries.- The Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) believes the Opposition’s “political about turn” on tobacco plain packaging is a step in the right direction to enhance the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

“But the next step must now be to focus on the banning of all political donations from both the tobacco and alcohol industries,” the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ADCA, Mr David Templeman, said today.

“The bipartisan approach that will see the passing of the plain packaging legislation needs to be reinforced by a similar approach to break the funding links between all elements of government and multinational/ national organisations.”

Mr Templeman said that all political parties should be free to make independent and rational decisions regarding the health of the nation and not be influenced by a “cheque in the post”.
“We can’t lose sight that tobacco and alcohol combined are responsible for some 22 000 deaths a year, with a reported annual economic impact of $31.48 billion for tobacco, and in excess of $36 billion for alcohol,” Mr Templeman said.

“Plain packaging is certainly a win for public health and the upcoming debate on the legislation in Federal Parliament should be short and swift and not drawn out. This is a chance to take that next step and legislate to put a stop to political donations.”

Mr Templeman said that today’s reported moves by some Federal Opposition Backbenchers to further encourage the Opposition to not accept donations from tobacco companies were welcomed and strongly supported.

“We already have the initiative by the Australian Greens to amend electoral laws to ban donations by tobacco companies which could be extended to also eliminate donations from the alcohol industry,” Mr Templeman said.