2012-13 Pre-budget submission

FARE’s submission to the Treasury outlines five areas for consideration during the 2012-13 Commonwealth Budget process that will reduce the substantial costs caused by alcohol-related harms.

Recommendations

FARE called for the government to take action in five key areas to:

  1. Reform alcohol taxation immediately.
    Immediately replace the WET with a volumetric tax.
    Work with the state and territory governments to mandate the collection of alcohol sales data to be used in prioritising further reform.
    Carry out an analysis of the alcohol taxation system and develop and implement a longer term plan for alcohol taxation reform.
  2. Invest in a comprehensive public education campaign based on the NHMRC Guidelines to Reduce the Health Risks from Drinking.
    Use a broad range of media to promote messages targeted at the general public, women of child-bearing age and their partners, and people in the community identified as being at risk of alcohol dependence.
    Include specific materials and training on the NHMRC Guidelines for health professionals including general practitioners, nurses, psychologists and alcohol and other drug workers .
    Be implemented in partnership with local organisations such as Medicare Locals to ensure effective promotion of the campaign at the community level.
  3. Fund the development and implementation of a national plan for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).
    A national prevalence study that documents the number of new and existing cases of FASD in Australia.
    The development of, and training in, the use of a standardised diagnostic tool to assist health professionals in diagnosing FASD.
    Provide support to people with FASD, their families and carers.
  4. Build Australia’s capacity to produce timely, evidence-based alcohol research and policy.
    Fund an Australian Burden of Disease Study.
    Fund robust and comprehensive economic modelling that provides reliable estimates of the social costs of alcohol consumption and the price points at which consumption patterns change.
    Fund an updated ‘Harm to Others’ study in Australia.
  5. Recapitalise FARE.

FARE supports policy reforms that contribute to a reduction in alcohol-related harms in Australia. Our policy work is informed by the evidence of what is most effective in reducing alcohol-related harms. We support the progression of population-based health measures, which take into consideration the far reaching and complex impacts of alcohol-related harms.

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