More money, not less, would be available for country sport under an alcohol sponsorship substitution scheme proposed by the Australian Greens.
“The Greens fully support the role of sports and cultural events in Australia, especially in regional areas,” said Greens Health Spokesperson Rachel Siewert.
“However, we are deeply concerned about the problem of harmful drinking, which is costing our community $15.4 billion-a-year and is a concern across all age groups, particularly the young.
“That is why we are saying that if the Federal Government is really serious about taking preventative measures to reduce alcohol abuse – as it has said it is – then it should establish an Alcohol Harm Reduction and Health Promotion Fund, using funding from the revenue gained from the tax excise on ‘alcopops’.
“This fund – which is likely to amount to more money than currently spent on sport through alcohol sponsorship – would provide substitution funding for alcohol sponsorship of sports, as well as providing extra money for treatment programs and other health promotions.
“Such a fund was used successfully in Western Australia and Victoria to replace cigarette sponsorship – and has since been replicated nationally in Austria, Thailand, Malaysia and Tonga.
“This proposal would enable sporting groups to end their reliance on alcohol sponsorship by applying for sponsorship from the fund – as well as any other sources of non alcohol-related sponsorship that they want to.
“We are very aware of the important role clubs and sporting groups play in building communities and contributing to people’s health and wellbeing.
“That is why we want to ensure that sporting clubs and groups, big and small, that are reliant on alcohol sponsorship, would be able to source sponsorship elsewhere.
"Research shows very clearly the link between alcohol sponsorship and alcohol-related harm. It is time that we acknowledged the true cost of alcohol to our community, and moved to phase out alcohol sponsorship of sport," concluded Senator Siewert.
For more information or media enquiries, call Eloise Dortch on 0415 507 763