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Budget 2009: Greens signal concern on Alcopops.

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Rachel Siewert Greens signal concern on Alcopops Media Release | Spokesperson Rachel Siewert

Wednesday 13th May 2009, 12:47pm

in Health & Wellbeing Alcohol

The Australian Greens today expressed concern at the Government's disingenuous approach to its embattled

alcopops legislation. The Greens want to ensure some of the estimated $1 billion revenue raised is spent on health

and education measures.

"In the Senate today, the Government refused to say whether they planned to continue the alcopops tax if the

Senate votes it down in June. They must have a plan, and should make this clear," said Australian Greens health

spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

"The Government can't try the same trick twice. They said the tax couldn't continue last time, yet it did."

"The Greens believe that the $50 million package we negotiated alongside Senator Xenophon with the

Government during the last sitting should commence if the tax is to continue past June. This package was

designed to complement the existing price mechanism and deliver real health outcomes," said Senator Siewert.

"The Greens have always focused on getting more action to tackle problem drinking in the community, and we

have seen that the alcopops tax has had a positive impact. To further this, we negotiated an agreement with the

Government to include a health sponsorship fund, mandatory warning messages, enhanced counselling services

and an expansion of social marketing campaigns."

"However, the Government is essentially thumbing its nose at the Senate, the Greens and their existing

agreements by re-introducing the excise but not delivering the promised complementary measures."

"The Greens will be taking this attitude into consideration when deciding our position on the second Senate

attempt at this tax," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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