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How can International tobacco try to buy an Australian Election?

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 13 Sep 2010

The Greens are extremely concerned by revelations that international tobacco companies spent $5 million on advertising during the recent federal election.

"International tobacco companies (Phillip Morris, British American Tobacco Australia and Imperial Tobacco) used a front organisation - the Alliance of Australian Retailers - in an attempt to prevent the introduction of plain packaging laws, which are supported by the ALP and Greens," said Greens health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"We believe these matters need to be referred to the ACCC immediately."

The Alliance of Australian Retailers was formed only weeks before the federal Election with millions of dollars of backing from the three big international tobacco companies which control the Australian market.

"Tobacco is a product that kills people to make money. We formally banned tobacco advertising in 1976 but we still haven't stopped the influence of their pernicious promotions. It's high time we banned all tobacco promotions – including stopping their ability to run political advertising in Australia and preventing them making donations to political parties."

Senator Siewert also called on Tony Abbott to declare that the Coalition parties would not accept any further donations for tobacco companies and to declare what role they played in the campaign for the 2010 federal election.

Senator Siewert said she was confident that plain packaging legislation would be supported by the parliament.

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