Congratulations to Tim Wilson, the new Freedom Commissioner!

Congratulations to Tim Wilson, the new Freedom Commissioner!




  Some very exciting news has just been released – Tim Wilson has been formally appointed to the position of Human Rights Commissioner by Attorney-General George Brandis!                   The announcement comes hot on the heels of the AGs office directing the Australian Law Reform Commission to identify laws that encroach on traditional rights and freedoms. This is very good news for freedom in Australia. Tim has spent seven years at the renowned Institute of Public Affairs, and will be leaving his role…




A fat lot of good

A fat lot of good




Does anything sound less fun and more ominous than an ‘Obesity Summit’? Nonetheless it exists, was it held last week, and people attended it, refreshed by sparkling water and slivers of carrot, no doubt. Judging by the outcome of the summit it was entirely populated by do-gooder, penny-pinching public-health pseudofascists. Successfully pushing the previous government to force a star-rating nutritional labelling system, as though clear information about the nutritional makeup of food is somehow unclear to poor, unthinking, silly Australians, was never going to be enough. Helen Rittelmeyer at the…




Why the tobacco tax hike is Tony’s fault – and not Kevin’s.

Why the tobacco tax hike is Tony’s fault – and not Kevin’s.




There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the tobacco excise hike – in particular about who is responsible for it, and where the bill to authorise it is. Hopefully we can clear it up a little! Firstly, there is no bill to authorise it – yet. What has happened is this: on the 29th of November, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation filed a notice in the federal Gazette (which is a publication of all official government notices and announcements) giving notice of an intention to pass a bill to raise the tobacco…




10 reasons the tobacco tax hike is awful, awful policy

10 reasons the tobacco tax hike is awful, awful policy




It really has nothing to do with your health In the words of the new PM, “It would only be raising $5 billion dollars or so if people are to continue to smoke, so let’s not listen to this palaver about health. This is all about revenue, it’s all about tax, it’s all about a government that can’t control it’s spending – that’s why it hits you in the hip pocket.” Smoking-related illness already benefits the budget – there ARE no losses to cover. Tobacco excise is already so high…




What is illicit tobacco?

What is illicit tobacco?




  Idk but there is this many of it: Okay. So. Today’s KPMG report identifies these types of illicit tobacco… Counterfeit cigarettes: fake versions of real brands. Unbranded loose tobacco: it’s unbranded loose leaf tobacco that is not in cigarette form. Non-domestic cigarettes (legal): importing or bringing in foreign cigarettes duty-free when you come back from not-Australia (which is legal if there’s less than fifty cigarettes, or if there’s more and you pay tax on them). You can tell they’re not Australian if they glorify dictators instead of health conditions….




What makes the front line back down?

What makes the front line back down?




Here’s an update to this morning’s story about an obsessive, officious licensing officer trying to pull up a publican offering free beers to firefighters(aka heroes) who saved his pub. Since the story broke, the NSW Police Department have been trying to distance themselves from the officer in question. A spokesperson has denied that the licensing officer was sent by superiors or issued a warning. The hardline of the front line becomes a happy, congratulatory tale of heroes and beers all ’round. Cops Are Tops, etc etc. Except.. they aren’t. Every…




Till, junk food due to part?

Till, junk food due to part?




Ban sweets at the till. Restrict food advertising. Enforce food and drink policies in schools. Regulate sugary drinks. Subsidise “healthy” food providers. Have you ever noticed how all “anti-obesity regulations” are all focused on the food? Personally, I don’t think it’s the double cheeseburger and fries I’m going to have for lunch that would contribute to gaining weight so much as the busy afternoon of “sitting at my computer” that I have planned. Doesn’t that sound like an experience the bureaucrat-Mecca of Canberra should be all too familiar with? Apparently…




Tobacco control is about control – not tobacco

Tobacco control is about control – not tobacco




Tobacco control has never been about protecting the health of smokers. Not one policy – not a single one – that has ever pushed up the price of tobacco, restricted who can purchase tobacco, limited who can sell tobacco, abolished the right to advertise or even brand tobacco products, banned flavours of tobacco, and outlawed the use of tobacco in private or in public locations, or presence of certain people, has ever been designed, approved, or implemented with the well-being of smokers in mind. Historically, this might have been more…




Plain Packaging WTO Woes Grow: Indonesia Also Says No

Plain Packaging WTO Woes Grow: Indonesia Also Says No




Indonesia has joined the burgeoning international movement against Australia’s plain packaging laws. The World Trade Organisation has announced that Indonesia “had made a formal request for consultations with Australia” over plain packaging. The controversial policy has already pushed Honduras, Ukraine, Cuba and the Dominican Republic to ask the WTO to intervene in the dispute over the world’s most tyrannical tobacco packaging laws. These tobacco-supplying nations argue that plain packaging laws create illegal obstacles to world trade, breaching intellectual property rights and international trade rules. With Indonesia initiating dispute resolution proceedings,…




Honduras Takes Plain Packaging Fight to WTO

Honduras Takes Plain Packaging Fight to WTO




Plain packaging is firmly back on the international agenda, with Honduras joining Ukraine in pushing the World Trade Organisation to set up a dispute resolution panel over the worlds most ridiculous tobacco control measure. Tobacco producing nations, including the Dominican Republic and Cuba, argue that plain packaging laws create illegal obstacles to world trade. Australia’s obsession with infantilising smokers has seen Canberra and the High Court bluntly refusing to acknowledge that preventing an entire industry from branding its products is a plain infringement of intellectual property. Australia has so far…