INDEPENDENT NEWS

Expert forum for alcohol ads, more money for treatment

Published: Thu 25 Aug 2011 04:35 PM
Hon Simon Power
Minister of Justice
25 August 2011 Media Statement
Expert forum for alcohol advertising, more money for treatment
Cabinet has agreed to establish an expert forum to consider the effectiveness of further restrictions on advertising and sponsorship to reduce alcohol-related harm, Justice Minister Simon Power announced today.
The announcement comes at the same time as the Justice and Electoral Committee reports the Alcohol Reform Bill back to Parliament.
As a first step, the bill strengthens the existing offence of promotion of excessive consumption of alcohol by making it apply to any business selling or promoting alcohol, and prohibiting a wider range of promotions, such as advertising free alcohol.
The bill also makes it an offence to promote alcohol in a way that has special appeal to minors.
“What came through strongly in submissions to the select committee is that people want the Government to go further than that,” Mr Power said.
“The decision to set up an expert forum is in line with the Law Commission's recommended second step for regulating alcohol advertising.
“The forum could examine current research and international developments, as well as the outcomes from the Advertising Standard Authority’s current review of the code for advertising liquor.
“The forum could also consider what impact further restrictions, such as those proposed by the Law Commission, would have on the recipients of sponsorship funding such as community organisations and sports teams.”
Officials are working to have the terms of reference confirmed by the end of the year and the forum members appointed early next year.
“The forum will report back to the Ministers of Justice and Health within a year of the bill being passed on whether they consider further restrictions should be made.”
Mr Power also announced that the Government is committing an additional $10 million a year towards alcohol and other drug treatment services and workforce development.
This funding, which comes out of alcohol excise revenue, is on top of the approximate $120 million spent on alcohol and drug treatment services each year.
Officials will report back to Cabinet in September with a plan for how this money can be spent.
ENDS

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