By Ian Neubauer
Independent Senator Steve Fielding let the genie out of the bottle in Parliament yesterday (Mar 17), demanding the decoupling of sport and alcohol advertising in exchange for his support on the RTD tax hike bill.
Fielding is calling for an outright ban on alcohol advertising during the broadcast of sporting events on TV — a move that aims to sever the link between two fundamentally interwoven elements of the national psyche.
Fielding belittled a deal struck between the Federal Government and other crossbench senators to pass the RTD tax hike bill that will mandate health warnings for alcohol advertising, describing it as a sell-out.
“At the 11 th hour you’re trying to pull a few things here and there to sway people,” Fielding told Parliament. “Dehook alcohol from sport.”
However, Fielding’s proposal would also have serious implications for television networks, the advertising industry, sports clubs and other sectors of the economy, and is unlikely to gain mainstream support at this time.
Federal Health Minister said today the Government was not prepared to grant Fielding’s demand but could grant him further concessions to get the bill passed.
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