FARE Election Platform 2016

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Where do the major parties stand on alcohol policy measures this election?

On 26 May, FARE wrote to the major political parties contesting the 2016 Australian Federal Election.

The parties were asked to respond to ten questions on alcohol policy, based on the FARE’s Election Platform 2016 Hidden harm: Targeting alcohol’s impact on children and families.

FARE developed an alcohol policy scorecard based on their responses.

See the full responses from The Coalition, Australian Labor Party and The Greens.

The questions were:


① Does your party acknowledge the significant harms that alcohol contributes to the Australian community and the need to urgently address these harms?


② Does your party support funding states and territories to develop jurisdiction-specific models of care for Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) and family violence services to work collaboratively ($1.6 million over four years)?


Does your party support training and the provision of funding to AOD services to implement family-centred practice ($24 million over four years)?


Does your party support piloting a perpetrator program based on South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Project, targeting repeat offenders of alcohol-related family violence ($280,000 over two years)?


Does your party support instigating a Government-led review to identify and resolve current failings of alcohol advertising regulation, and introduce effective and equitable regulation across all forms of broadcast and online media (commercial, subscription and online)?


Does your party support phasing out alcohol sponsorship of sporting and cultural events, and the establishment of an Alcohol Marketing Replacement Fund to be funded from the proceeds of reform to alcohol taxation to aid the transition ($20 million over four years)?


Does your party support funding and implementing a second National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Strategy from 2017-18 with action in prevention, diagnosis and management ($14.9 million over four years)?


Does your party support mandating health warning labels on all alcohol products and point of sale material by 2018?


Does your party support funding a nation-wide sustained public education campaign on the harms from alcohol and ways to reduce the risk ($100 million over four years)?


Does your party support introducing tax reform to bring wine and cider in line with other alcohol products, and apply a 10 per cent increase to all alcohol excise, to raise $2.9 billion annually and achieve a 9.4 per cent reduction in alcohol consumption?


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Election platform overview

The impact of alcohol on the community can be devastating and far reaching. Alcohol use contributes to death, violence on our streets, injuries and hospitalisations. These harms are well known.
What is often overlooked is the impact that alcohol has on children and families. Alcohol use leads to children being verbally abused, left unsupervised or in unsafe situations, being physically hurt, exposed to domestic violence and ending up in the child protection system. Alcohol is also a significant contributor to domestic violence.

All children should have a safe, supportive and caring environment so that they can fully contribute to the community as they grow. While this should be the norm in any country, we are currently failing our children on many levels.

While the extent of alcohol harms and their impact on families and communities is significant, this is not a problem without solutions.

Responding to these harms has a clear and well understood evidence-base. Action is needed at the community, family and individual level. We need to change the environment if we are going to make a meaningful difference to the lives of the children and families affected by alcohol. Most of all, we need political leadership to facilitate this change.

This year, we are calling on political parties to address alcohol’s hidden harm and its impact on children and families.


The actions

1. Prevent alcohol-related family violence

  • Fund states and territories to develop jurisdiction-specific models of care for Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) and family violence services to work collaboratively ($1.6 million over one year).
  • Train and provide funding to Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) services to implement family-centred practice ($24 million over four years).
  • Pilot a perpetrator program based on South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Project, to target repeat offenders of alcohol-related family violence ($280,000 over two years).

2. Protect children from alcohol advertising and sponsorship

  • Instigate an Australian Government-led review of alcohol advertising regulation across all forms of media.
  • Phase out alcohol sponsorship of sporting and cultural events, and establish an Alcohol Marketing Replacement Fund to aid the transition ($20 million over four years).

3. Prevent, diagnose and manage Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

  • Fund and develop a second National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Strategy from 2017-18 with action in prevention, diagnosis and management:
    • Fund a national public education campaign to raise awareness about the risks of drinking during pregnancy, modelled on the Pregnant Pause campaign ($10 million over four years).
    • Fund a National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Clinical Network to ensure a standardisation of approaches to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder assessment, diagnosis, and data collection across Australia ($4.1 million over four years).
    • Fund consumer advocate positions to support people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), their parents and carers to access disability and other related services ($800,000 over four years).
  • Mandate health warning labels on all alcohol products and point of sale material by 2018.

4. Conduct a nation-wide public education campaign on alcohol

  • Fund a nation-wide, sustained public education campaign on the harms from alcohol and ways to reduce the risk of those harms ($100 million over four years).

5. Reform alcohol tax and develop a funding-base for preventing alcohol harms

  • Introduce tax reform to bring wine and cider in line with other alcohol products, and apply a ten per cent increase to all alcohol excise, to raise $2.9 billion annually and achieve a 9.4 per cent reduction in alcohol consumption. Index alcohol excise rates to average weekly ordinary time earnings, rather than the Consumer Price Index, to ensure that the cost of alcohol does not reduce relative to personal income.

View the media release

View the full FARE Election Platform 2016