Defend the public interest
FARE believes that protecting the public’s interest is paramount in alcohol control, and is dedicated to ensuring the alcohol industry is not involved in alcohol policy development in Australia.
Defending the public interest involves keeping the alcohol industry accountable, advocating for policies and programs that inform, empowering and protecting the public from alcohol harm, and encouraging corporate responsibility.
There is a horrendous cost to cheap booze, with alcohol chains contributing to more assaults and injuries than independent outlets.
In March 2017, FARE and leading public health experts slammed Woolworths over its decision to take legal action against the Northern Territory (NT) Government in an effort to establish a Dan Murphy’s big box liquor outlet in Darwin. The Australian jurisdiction is already the most impacted by alcohol harm, and the people of the NT are already paying too high a price.
While Dan Murphy’s subsequently announced the withdrawal of its legal action against the NT Government, FARE’s efforts to stop alcohol harm in the Territory and protect the public from an aggressive alcohol industry continue.
Those efforts include FARE’s submissions to the Northern Territory review into the NT Alcohol Policies and Legislation, announced on 26 April 2017.
A 2017 FARE study exploded a myth perpetuated by licenced clubs that local communities benefit greatly from their financial generosity.
The FARE-funded study, Community benefits claimed by licenced clubs operating poker machines in the ACT, was carried out by the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University.
The study examined the nature and value of contributions made to community organisations, charities and sporting organisations by all clubs and hotels operating in the ACT.
Community contributions from poker machine (electronic gaming machine) venues fail to offset the harm caused by poker machine gambling in the ACT, according to the study which recommended a complete overhaul of the existing community contributions scheme and an immediate review of the current taxation arrangements.
Ahead of May 2017 Federal Budget, an analysis of 13 of the largest Australian and foreign-owned alcohol enterprises operating in Australia uncovered highly questionable tax avoidance practices by many of the companies, and revealed that five of the 13 companies examined, paid no company tax.
The research undertaken by the University of Technology Sydney and commissioned by FARE and the Uniting Church, analysed effective tax rates and book tax gaps using Australian Taxation data for years 2013-14 and 2014-15, comparing the companies’ total Financial Statements across the period.