Budget: Funding to tackle drug use, binge drinking and tobacco, but alcohol ad ban is rejected

The federal Government will provide over $100m in funding to launch anti-illicit drug use, binge drinking and anti-tobacco campaigns and initiatives as part of its budgetary measures revealed last night.

But it has rejected recommendations to ban alcohol advertising during kids shows and sports broadcasts.  

The Department of Health and Ageing will provide $50m over four years to build on existing initiatives addressing binge drinking.

As part of that funding, $25m will be handed to local sporting and other organisations to be used as an alternative source of sponsorship to replace funding from the alcohol industry.

Around $20m will be spent on expanding community-level initiatives, and $5m on expanding existing telephone counselling services, as well as the possible expansion of existing social marketing campaigns.

But in a response to a report from the National Preventative Health Taskforce addressing the economic burden caused by obesity, tobacco and alcohol, the Government has rejected recommendations to ban advertising during live sporting broadcasts and during high adolescent/child viewing.

It has also rejected a crackdown on alcohol companies’ sponsorship of sporting codes.

The Government said: “While the Government is supportive of limiting the exposure of children to advertising that may unduly influence them, the Government will not consider regulatory action at this time.”

Also, as part of this year’s federal budget, the Government will provide $21.2m funding over four years to continue its national media campaign to promote the avoidance and cessation of illicit drug use. It forms part of the broader and ongoing National Drugs Campaign.

On the issue of tobacco, the Government will provide $27.8m over four years to fund anti-tobacco social marketing campaigns; while $2.6m will be spent over that period to implement plain packaging for tobacco products which is due to come into effect from 1 January 2012.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.