The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and Bluearth welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s plans to include preventive health as a central pillar of a new the National Sports Plan.
The joint submission addresses two key areas, the first provides an overview of sports contribution to preventive health and provides specific recommendations for the Australian Government to adopt when developing the National Sports Plan. The second section of the submission directly responds to questions posed in National Sports Plan document.
The development of the National Sports Plan comes at a time when sports participation is decreasing and the burden of chronic disease is increasing. In the submission FARE and Bluearth argue that to be truly impactful, the plan must not only encourage participation in sports and physical activity, but must also ensure the removal of unhealthy sponsorship and advertising in sport.
The submission sends a clear message to the Commonwealth to phase out alcohol and junk food sponsorship from sport and stop sending contradictory messages through unhealthy sponsors. Among its six recommendations the submission calls for the establishment of a sports sponsorship replacement fund, with revenue to be generated from a long overdue and much needed reform of the alcohol tax system.
- The Australian Government should continue to endorse preventive health as a key pillar of the National Sports Plan to help address the growing burden of disease.
- The Australian Government should separate the elite and participation arms of sport and establish a new entity with a clear focus on participation and preventative health.
- The Australian Government should phase out alcohol and junk food sponsorship from sport.
- The Australian Government should establish a replacement fund to support sports to introduce healthy sponsors. This can be done through alcohol tax reform, where the revenue raised will go towards supporting sports in removing alcohol sponsors and promoting ethical and healthy partnerships.
- The Minister for Health and Sport should work with the Minister for Communications to standardise and legislate advertising regulations for all media platforms that are independent of the alcohol and advertising industries, thereby removing the current self-regulatory framework.
- The Australian Government should legislate that alcohol advertising be banned between the hours of 5am and 8.30pm across all media platforms, including televised sport.