FARE’s submission to the Commonwealth Government consultation process regarding the development of a Community Sponsorship Fund under the National Binge Drinking Strategy provides feedback on a number of issues raised in the paper and makes a total of nine recommendations.
- A proportion of the Community Sponsorship Fund disbursements should go to people in the community disproportionately affected by alcohol. These groups of people include young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people living in rural and remote communities.
- To determine a definition of ‘alcohol industry’ for the purposes of eligibility requirements, the definition should be broad to ensure that sporting and cultural organisations are encouraged to apply for this funding. In regards to co-sponsorship, no alcohol industry sponsorship is ideal. However, where it is prudent to consider co-sponsorship, the way in which ‘alcohol industry’ is defined should be dependent upon a risk-based approach used to determine whether a sponsored organisation can receive Community Sponsorship Fund disbursements concurrently.
- Community Sponsorship Fund disbursements should be restricted to current or previous recipients of ‘alcohol industry’ funding.
- All alcohol industry branding imagery must be removed from all organisation property, including uniforms, venues and sporting grounds. Where clubs are allowed to co-sponsor with a member of the alcohol industry in accordance with the risk assessment criteria set out in question 2(A), sponsored organisations must agree to phase out all alcohol industry branding on organisation property by a specific date.
- The following should be conditions contained in the funding agreement:
All sponsored organisations that have a licence or obtain a licence during the tenure of their sponsorship funding, must adhere to Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) provisions and other requirements for the maintenance of their licence under State and Territory legislation.
All sponsored organisations, regardless of whether they have a liquor licence, must agree to certain conditions pertaining to responsible alcohol consumption and safe drinking practices (set out in the above dot points).
All sponsored organisations should have the option to undertake an alcohol harm-minimisation education program to raise awareness about responsible alcohol consumption and to involve members of the organisation in developing an alcohol strategy for the organisation.
- To achieve the objective of providing an alternative to alcohol industry funding of sporting and cultural activities, a strategy should be put in place for a long-term sponsorship fund. The AER Foundation recommends the use of taxes or additional levies collected on alcohol products to phase out alcohol industry sponsorship of sporting and cultural events at both the local and elite level.
- Regulation of alcohol industry advertising must be legislated to ensure open, transparent and impartial interpretation and application of advertising codes. Meaningful sanctions must also be introduced to deter breaches of advertising codes. The exemption under the Commercial Television Code of Practice which allows alcohol advertising during live sports broadcasts on weekends and public holidays should be removed.
- The Foundation calls on the government to implement regulations to improve data collection of alcohol product sales and percentage of revenue spent on sponsorship investment. Alcohol companies should be called upon to make public data which extrapolates sponsorship investment data from broader marketing expenditure.
- The effectiveness of the Community Sponsorship Fund in providing an alternative to alcohol industry funding of sports and cultural activities should be evaluated.