The SA government has recently announced a ban on the advertising of vaping products, despite their potential to significantly reduce the active and passive harm of tobacco.
Taking on the recommendations of a 2016 Select Committee, the SA government is seeking to “regulate” vaping in order to “prohibit the sale to children.” However, the decision to ban the advertising and usage of vaping in enclosed areas is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Not only will it do little to encourage the 15.7% of South Australian adolescents to quit smoking, it will have the unintended consequence of increasing smoking among younger people.
Originally published on Online Opinion
By Satyajeet Marar
The 7th WHO Conference of the Parties (COP7) is coming soon to sunny Delhi, India and on the agenda for the 180 odd countries and international associations will be the spectre of tobacco.
We’ve known about the full devastation of tobacco for decades now. We know that it is one of the most potent carcinogens in the world. We also know that it is also one of the world’s most lucrative drugs… for governments – a veritable coughing and sputtering cash cow.
But at a time when it is costing our public healthcare system millions of dollars and killing many Australians despite our best efforts to tax it and to replace its labelling with edgy pictures of decomposing organ tissue, it is time to consider any practical harm-reduction alternative that has proven its effectiveness.
In a shocking attack on fundamental concepts of media freedom and government accountability, the Australian Delegation at the World Health Organisation’s WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Meeting currently under way in Delhi voted to eject all journalists and observers from the room, so that negotiations could be conducted in secret without any public scrutiny.
This meeting, partially funded by Australian taxes, and costing millions, is expected to call for further regulation of life-saving tobacco harm reduction technologies, in a move many say is designed to protect government cigarette tax revenues.
As discussions were going on, in a move fully supported by the Australian delegation, journalists wanting to report on proceedings were physically removed from the room by security:
— Drew Johnson (@Drews_Views) November 8, 2016
The United Nations, under which the WHO falls, has consistently proclaimed its support for press freedom, with outgoing Secretary Ban Ki Moon stating “I urge all Governments, politicians, businesses and citizens to commit to nurturing and protecting an independent, free media. Without this fundamental right, people are less free and less empowered. With it, we can work together for a world of dignity and opportunity for all.”
So it is particularly disgraceful that the United Nations is refusing to apply this rule to itself.
But that’s not all – the FCTC then started blocking journalists on Twitter. Not content with refusing them access to the negotiations, they are now engaging on a vicious campaign of blocking anyone from following them!
This is a meeting funded by Australian taxes. Our taxpayers have a right to know how our money is being spent and it is a shameful disgrace that our government has acted to suppress transparency, accountability, and freedom of the press.
It has been revealed that thousands of parents are earning more by going on welfare than they do by working. This harmful policy development is both unfair and unsustainable for Australian taxpayers. Extensive reforms are necessary to ensure that there are plenty more incentives to work, rather than to stay on the dole.
The latest revelations of her misleading parliament are the last straw.
Professor Triggs, who earns a $408,000 a year annual package as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, is unfit to hold office.
In the last three years she has not just mislead parliament. She has:
- Allegedly misled parliament AGAIN over the “illogical, irrational and patently bizarre” persecution of QUT students unders18C in what Tony Morris QC stated “might well be regarded as a calculated deception”.
- Led a Human Rights Commission which denied the human rights of the QUT students: despite spending 14 months on the complaints, they only told the students days before proceedings commenced ensuring no time to get legal advice or achieve a resolution before the case escalated to the Federal Court.
- Potentially breached Federal Law in improperly delegating her role to others regarding the QUT complaint, and conducting no inquiry despite this being a requirement of the legislation.
- Delayed a children in detention inquiry until after Labor left office (and tried to cover it up) – and released a report that was described as “incendiary, inaccurate” and with multiple claims that do “not withstand scrutiny”
- Verballed then Immigration Minister Scott Morrison claiming he said the opposite of what he in fact said
- Recommended $350,000 in compensation for a refugee who beat his spouse to death with a child’s bicycle, and $910,000 for five detainees including those who faced criminal charges for being involved in the Villawood riots
Visit www.GillianTriggsMustResign.com and sign the petition today!
Satyajeet Marar argues that the music industry should not be hit with another burdensome tax.
Originally published on Grapeshot: Macquarie University Student Publication
The recent changes to the touring visa system for foreign performers are designed to cut red tape by moving the process online. In theory, this should foster the live music scene in Australia by cutting through the bureaucracy concert organisers face when bringing in acts from overseas. Unfortunately, this won’t be the case since the costs for the new system are being recouped by hiking up visa fees and scrapping the group touring discount previously relied upon by organisers of festivals and other events bringing in multiple performers.
James Penny explains the opportunity cost of a divisive plebiscite, which could instead be used to uphold basic legal rights in court.
For many of us, we think we have our rights at trial. Right to silence, counsel, innocence, trial by jury and those other things we seem to think apply as a result of U.S television shows. Welcome to Australia, home of ‘she’ll be right mate’ and where your rights get taken from you. Make no mistake about it, you are living in a police state. Especially those on the Eastern States. Let us not forget the removal of rights at Commonwealth level too, such as preventative detention orders. The free Australia you thought you were living in, is well and truly gone. The other issue, coinciding with all of this, is spectacularly huge cuts to legal aid. Which is grinding our criminal justice system to a halt.
Imagine there was a way to save hundreds of thousands of lives and save the Australian taxpayer hundreds of million dollars a year in healthcare costs.
Imagine if such a technology existed. And experts all over the world have proven that there was no risk involved – just the potential to save lives.
Wouldn’t this be something? Wouldn’t it be miraculous? We would be singing and dancing in the streets!
The fact is that such a technology does exist – and the Australian government has made it illegal.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in Australia. Millions of Australians can’t break the habit and die as a result.
Yet now a new technology – vaping – has arrived which helps smokers to quit. By delivering nicotine through water vapour, they still get their fix – but with none of the carcinogenic tars or chemicals involved in the burning of tobacco. It is a proven safe way to get people to quit and save lives.
The evidence is clear: As an expert independent evidence review published by Public Health England concluded: vaping is 95% safer than smoking and helps smokers quit. The UK Royal College of Physicians has begged for governments to support vaping as the best way to prevent death and disability from tobacco use. In fact, 40 of the leading public health activists in Australia and around the world have begged the Australian government to make this life-saving technology legal.
Why is our government standing in the way of saving people’s lives?
This is not a case of the government being wrong or misguided. This is a case of the government standing in the way of saving people’s lives. It is morally reprehensible, and we need to do something about it.
This is why the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, in conjunction with MyChoice Australia, have launched a new campaign for the Australian government to legalise vaping.
Please join our campaign at www.thrnow.com and tell your representatives that you support legalising vaping.
Because lives are literally at stake. Click HERE to join the campaign. It will take only a minute – but will make a real difference.
The United Nations Health Agency has recently called on all countries to implement of “at least 20%” on sugar sweetened beverages to curb the epidemic of global obesity. This is a sensible suggestion at first glance, but this exact tax has been tried in many countries and has had no or minimal effect on obesity. This is a public policy suggestion based in intentions and not actual results, leading to many unintended consequences.
The tax is meant to increase the price of sugar sweetened beverages which leads to a decrease in consumption and improved health outcomes of people. But this tax has led to a minimal reduction in energy consumption with the Rural Health Minister, Fiona Nash calling this tax “a lazy solution to a complex problem.”
Firstly, the tax gets partly absorbed by the business’ and partly by the consumer. Secondly, consumers instead of reducing energy consumption, have moved to inferior goods which are more affordable, along with substituting energy in other areas like food. People are inelastic with their energy consumption which means it’s hard to tax people into health, without causing many other problems. This was exemplified with the Danish fat tax which saw 90% of people not change their dietary habits. And also New Zealand where sugar consumption decreased 11% for males while obesity soared 63%.
This tax has the potential of threatening many sugar industry jobs and incur huge economic costs for minor health benefits. For every $1 of health savings from the sugar tax in the UK, taxpayers’ pay about $65. The indirect health outcomes are minuscule compared to the tax paid.
This tax, like any other consumption tax, is regressive, and affects the poorest people the most. This is especially bad since the poorest people are the least elastic group with their food consumption.
This is an irresponsible band aid solution from the UN which will cause more harm than good.
Cody Findlay is an intern at The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance
I am delighted to invite you to a very special event in Melbourne on Saturday October 22: An Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance Symposium on how we can create a positive and pro-liberty agenda for the 45th Parliament.
With serious gridlock in the federal senate, and a lack of firm leadership in the major parties, substantial policy reform is looking harder and harder to achieve. This is why we’ve decided to set a new and improved agenda for the 45th Parliament, showcasing feasible and necessary reforms our politicians can implement!
Joining us shall be:
Professor Sinclair Davidson, RMIT University
Senator James Paterson, Senator for Victoria
Lara Jeffery, Director, MyChoice Australia
Terry Barnes, Director of Cormorant Policy Advice
Dr Mikayla Novak, Economist
Aaron Lane, Legal Fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs
Following the conclusion of the Symposium will be a cocktail reception (with nibbles and a 3h drinks package) where I shall be making a short address.
This shall be an event not to be missed and I hope to see you there!
But it gets even better: We will immediately following the Annual Conference of Australia’s leading industrial relations reform organisation, the HR Nicholls Society, and attending both events will secure you a $25 discount!
The HR Nicholls Society Conference, entitled “The State of Reform”, commences with a Friday Night dinner with Senator The Hon Eric Abetz, Former Minister for Employment, and Saturday Day sessions with The Hon Robert Clarke MLC, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations in the Victorian Parliament, Senator Malcolm Roberts, Senator for Queensland, Economist and writer Judith Sloan, Alternative union entrepreneur Graeme Haycroft, and The Hon Peter Katsambanis MLC from Western Australia.
Both events shall be held at the same venue.
Date & Time
HRN Conference: 6:00 Friday 21st of October through 3:00pm Saturday 22nd of October
ATA Symposium & Cocktail Reception: 3:30pm through 9:00pm, Saturday 22nd of October
A DISCOUNT OF 20% (Adults) or 50% (students) APPLIES ON TOP OF THE BELOW RATE FOR ATA MEMBERS. TO ACCESS THE DISCOUNT ENTER “ATAdiscount” or “studentHRN”UPON CHECKOUT .
ATA Symposium & Cocktail Reception: $75
ATA Symposium & Cocktail Reception (Student): $50
HRN Conference Only: $260
HRN and ATA package – $310.00 or $270 Student
This will be a highly intellectually stimulating, vibrant and worthwhile conference to attend that I have no doubt all our members and supporters shall strongly enjoy!
If you believe in liberty and restoring Australia’s prosperity, these events are not to be missed, and I look forward to seeing you there!
Yours in Liberty,
Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance