It is well accepted that the alcohol industry has a vested interest in alcohol policy development and implementation. As such, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the review of the influence of corporate political donations. This submission addresses each of the Terms of Reference and provides several examples of how corporate political donations from the alcohol industry appear to have been used to influence public policy decisions. These are a small sample of available case studies, but are useful in highlighting the manifest risks associated with alcohol industry involvement in political processes.
FARE would welcome the opportunity to present more detail about these findings to the Select Committee into the Political Influence of Donations.
This submission addresses the following five areas within the Discussion Paper:
- As matter of priority, ban all donations from the alcohol industry including donations from producers, retailers (on and off-licence venues) and associated member organisations and lobbyists.
- Ban the use of associated entities to prevent political parties from continuing to conceal the identity of their donors.
- Require immediate disclosure of political donations to allow voters to see, in real time, attempts to influence political decisions.
- Remove the disclosure threshold and require all donations and other receipts to be immediately reported and published.