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Freedom of Choice: Australian Alcohol and Tobacco Party Launch Speech
Transcript of Media Conference held today at the Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Adelaide SA
Hello and Welcome! My name is Bruce Holland, and today we are launching the Tobacco and Alcohol Party of Australia. We are not a registered political party as yet, however we are seeking members now, and when we have sufficient members, we will then lodge with the Australian Electoral Commission formally.
The Tobacco and Alcohol Party has been formed to represent a voice for everyday
Australians. We could be more appropriately named: “Freedom of Choice Party”.
When the Federal Government introduced the Plain Packaging Bill, this became a
catalyst for us to form our Party.
We are a group of small business people, from a variety of backgrounds who share the
same concerns about the intrusiveness of government into the every day persons life,
and the taking away of our freedoms more and more by new laws and regulations.
We have not received any money or incentives from any Tobacco or Alcohol company.
We are very concerned about the interference of government which is leading to legal
products, trademarks and Intellectual Property being manipulated and compromised the
fundamentals of a free democratic capitalistic society in which we live are undermined.
When plain packaging becomes a legislative approach due to public health concerns,
where does it stop?
• By extension, Alcohol labeling and plain packaging of alcohol ogically could, and
should, become a focus also. Alcohol related death, illness and social impact is
as high as tobacco related health costs.
• Obesity (according to a report by Obesity In Australia, National Preventative
Health Taskforce 2010.) is singularly highest preventable cause of death in
Australia. Do we plain package fast food or even any food?
There is no evidence to suggest that plain packaging will change anything!
This is interventionist legislation that is dogmatic and draconian with no logical end in
sight as to where it might stop.
This is legislation (the Plain Packaging bill 2011) has adopted a philosophical-political
approach that states: “We the bureaucracy know better than you and what is good for
you. We will make decisions to protect you from yourself and from capitalistic national
and multinational companies and their manipulative advertising.”
“What’s more we will tax you for the privilege of us protecting you from yourself!!”
We could end up living in a drab, plain colourless world to protect us from ‘unhealthy
The following is the Charter of the Tobacco and Alcohol Party of Australia:
The Tobacco and Alcohol Party of Australia Ltd recognises and promotes the following:
1. We acknowledge that approximately 18% of adult Australians consume legal
2. We acknowledge that approximately 40% of adult Australians consume legal
3. We acknowledge that Excess consumption of legal tobacco and alcohol products
is a health hazard and can lead to health complications and potentially death;
4. We promote and maintain that Support, education, and counselling programs
should continue to be made available to assist those in the community who wish to stop
or reduce the excess consumption of legal tobacco and alcohol products;
5. We maintain that the rights of all companies to wholesale and retail legal
products should be defended and protected at all times. Infringement upon their
trademarks, copyrights, brands and pricing mechanisms should not be allowed at any
time and should comply with treaties determined by the multiple International Trade
Agreements as currently agreed to by the Australian Government;
6. We maintain and will defend Australia as a democratic nation and the freedom of
rights and choice of all individuals should be nourished and protected to participate in
the consumption of legal products;
7. We maintain that Legislative initiatives and reform should always be based upon
substantiation and fact. Therefore appropriate independent ‘evidence based’ research
should always be undertaken and published to determine the true value of any initiative
for the sake of all Australians to determine the likely impact of any legislative initiative or
reform. That substantiation should be made available to lawmakers and their
constituents freely and alike;
8. We defend the rights of people of the legal age, who choose to consume legal
tobacco and alcohol products, should be protected in a democratic society; they should
not be marginalised or vilified for the choices they make to participate in the
consumption of legal products;
9. We maintain the intervention of government into the lives of individuals to make
free choices in a democratic society to consume legal products is what we believe to be
‘nanny state’ politics. The Tobacco and Alcohol Party of Australia is opposed to ‘nanny
state’ based legislation that diminishes the rights of individuals or marginalises them in
society and the community generally. The Tobacco and Alcohol Party of Australia is
concerned where Government Legislative powers begin and where they end with
respect to an individual’s free choice to consume legal products and services;
10. We note that the supply of ‘illegal’ tobacco and alcohol products is increasing in
Australia, representing significant lost revenue for the Australian Government. Focus
should be placed on reducing the supply of ‘illegal’ products;
11. We maintain that retailers should be free to sell legal products to people of the
legal age in their premises with appropriate focus on not encouraging under age users
through point of sale activities;
12. We maintain that World Trade Organisation treaties agreed to by the Australian
Government should be embodied in any legislative reform and submitted to the World
Trade Organisation for review and independent analysis;
13. We maintain that Independent ‘evidence based’ research should be undertaken
A Determine the true gross revenue from legal tobacco and alcohol products
to federal, state and territory governments.
B Determine transparent methods of allocation and classification for cause of
disease and death within the Australian Health system as allocated to the consumption
of legal tobacco and alcohol products.
C Determine the true cost and liability placed upon Australian taxpayers from
Government intervention into the operations of legal markets.
14 We have not been funded by the tobacco or alcohol industry but they and others
will be invited to make donations.
I NOW DECLARE THE TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA