Where do the major parties stand on alcohol policy measures this election?
On 26 May, Prevention 1st wrote to the major political parties contesting the 2016 Australian Federal Election.
The parties were asked to respond to ten questions on preventive health policy, based on the Prevention 1st 2016 Election Platform: Our greatest health challenge.
Prevention 1st developed a preventive health policy scorecard based on their responses.
The questions were:
① Does your party support increasing spending on preventive health by 2020 to at least five per cent of total health expenditure?
② Does your party commit to achieving the World Health Organization’s non-communicable disease targets and publicly reporting against the progress in reaching these targets?
③ Does your party support introducing a corrective tax on soft drinks and alcohol beverages to reduce harm associated with these products?
④ Does your party support maintaining the Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemptions for fresh food and vegetables?
⑤ Does your party support implementing mandatory health warning labels on all alcohol products?
⑥ Does your party support mandating the application of the Health Star Rating system on all processed foods?
⑦ Does your party support banning sponsorship at sporting events for unhealthy foods, sugary drinks and alcohol products?
⑧ Does your party support banning television advertising of unhealthy foods, sugary drinks and alcohol products during peak viewing times for children?
⑨ Does your party support funding sustained, evidence-based public education campaigns that address alcohol, tobacco, physical inactivity and poor nutrition to encourage healthy living?
⑩ Does your party support implementing a series of supporting, evidence-based health promotion activities in key settings such as workplaces, primary healthcare and schools to reinforce knowledge and skills for behaviour change?
Election platform overview
Chronic diseases are responsible for 83 per cent of all premature deaths in Australia and 66 per cent of the burden of disease, making it our nation’s greatest health challenge.
They include conditions such as heart disease, dementia, stroke, chronic kidney disease, lung disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Dealing with chronic disease comes at an estimated $27 billion cost to the Australian community and accounts for more than a third (36 per cent) of our national health budget.
Because of our inaction in this area, for the first time, we face the very real prospect that our children will have a shorter life expectancy than us.
We can no longer adopt an ‘ambulance at the bottom of the hill’ approach to health in this country.
Australia urgently needs a strategy to prevent these conditions from occurring and to halt their increase.
Many of these conditions are preventable. A third of all chronic diseases can be traced back to four modifiable risk factors: alcohol and tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor nutrition.
More than 25 health and community leaders have signed up to a call by Prevention 1st urging political parties to put preventive health policy first ahead of the July Federal Election.
The Prevention 1st 2016 Election Platform: Our greatest health challenge, outlines a clear road map for how to reduce the burden of chronic disease by addressing these known risk factors and urges Australia’s political representatives to take action.