Informed, engaged communities for health

Search
Generic filters
Filter by Categories
@WePublicHealth2021
#BackToTheFire
#CroakeyLIVE #Budget2021Health
#GiantSteps21
#HearMe21
#MHReform
#OutOfTheBox
#QldVotesHealth
#RANZCP2021
#RCIADIC30Years
#RuralHealthJustice
#ShiftingGearsSummit
#TRIPSwaiver
2021 Floods
Budget2020Health
Bushfires
community control
COVID-19
Croakey Conference News Service
#2020ResearchExcellence
#Govern4Health
#HealthReImagined
#SAHeapsUnfair
#ValueBasedCare
Croakey Professional Services
#BetterCareCOVID
#CommunityControl
Croakey projects
@WePublicHealth
@WePublicHealth2020
#CommunityMatters
#CoveringClimateNow
#CroakeyLIVE #USvotesHealth
#CroakeyREAD
#CroakeyVOICES
#CroakeyYOUTH
#JusticeCOVID
#LookingLocal
#OutOfPocket
#TalkingTeeth
AroundTheTraps
Caring for the Frontline
COVIDglobalMHseries
Croakey longreads
CroakeyEXPLORE
Gavin Mooney
Inside Story
Journal Watch
PIJ Commissions 2020
Summer Reading 2019-2020
The Conversation
The Health Wrap
TOO MUCH of a Good Thing
CroakeyGO
#CroakeyGO #NavigatingHealth
#GamblingHarms
#HeatwaveHealth
Mapping CroakeyGo
CroakeyNews
Cultural determinants of health
Digital platforms
Elections and budgets
Federal Budget 2019-20
Federal Budget 2020-21
Federal Budget 2021-22
Global health and climate change
2019-20 climate bushfire emergency
asylum seeker and refugee health
climate change
disasters
Ebola
extreme weather events
flooding 2011
global health
NHS
NZ Election 2017
WHO
health
Healthcare and health reform
abortion
adverse events
aged care
allied health care
Australian Medical Association
cancer
cardiovascular disease
child health
Choosing Wisely
chronic diseases
co-payments
Cochrane Collaboration
complementary medicines
conflicts of interest
death and dying
diabetes
digital technology
disabilities
e-health
emergency departments and care
Equally Well
euthanasia
evidence-based issues
general practice
genetics
health & medical marketing
health and medical education
health and medical research
Health Care Homes
health ethics
health financing and costs
health reform
health regulation
health workforce
HIV/AIDS
hospitals
HRT
infectious diseases
influenza
international medical graduates
journal articles
LGBTIQ
medical marijuana
Medicare Locals
men's health
mental health
MyHospitals website
National Commission of Audit 2014
National Health Performance Authority
naturopathy
NDIS
NHMRC
non communicable diseases
nurses and nursing
oral health
organ transplants
out of pocket costs
pain
palliative care
paramedics
pathology
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
pharmaceutical industry
pharmacy
Pregnancy and childbirth
primary health care
Primary Health Networks
private health insurance
quality and safety of health care
rural and remote health
screening
sexual health
social media and healthcare
suicide
surgery
swine flu
telehealth
tests
TGA
trauma
women's health
youth health
Indigenous health
#CTG10
#NTRC
Acknowledgement
cultural safety
Indigenous education
Lowitja Institute
NT Intervention
social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
WA community closures
News about Croakey
PIJ Commissions 2021
Public health and population health
#PreventiveHealthStrategy
#UnmetNeedsinPublicHealth
air pollution
alcohol
consumer health matters
Coronavirus outbreak 2019-2020
COVIDwrap
environmental health
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
food and nutrition
gambling
Government 2.0
gun control
health communications
health impact assessment
Health in All Policies
health inequalities
health literacy
human rights
illicit drugs
injuries
legal issues
marriage equality
Media Doctor Australia
media-related issues
nanny state
National Preventive Health Agency
obesity
occupational health
physical activity
plain packaging
prevention
public health
public interest journalism
road safety
sport
sugar tax
tobacco control
transport
vaccination
violence
Web 2.0
weight loss products
Royal Commission
Social determinants of health
discrimination
education
justice
Justice Reinvestment
NBN
Newstart
poverty
racism
social policy
Summer reading 2020-2021
Tasmanian election 2021
The Croakey Archives
#cripcroakey
#HealthEquity16
#HealthMatters
#IHMayDay (all years)
#IHMayDay 2014
#IHMayDay15
#IHMayday16
#IHMayDay17
#IHMayDay18
#LoveRural 2014
Croakey Conference News Service 2013 – 2019
2013 conferences
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation Forum 2013
Australian Health Promotion Association Conference 2013
Closing the Credibility Gap 2013
CRANAplus Conference 2013
FASD Conference 2013
Health Workforce Australia 2013
International Health Literacy Network Conference 2013
NACCHO Summit 2013
National Rural Health Conference 2013
Oceania EcoHealth Symposium 2013
PHAA conference 2013
2014 conferences
#IPCHIV14
AIDA Conference 2014
Congress Lowitja 2014
CRANAplus conference 2014
Cultural Solutions - Healing Foundation forum 2014
Lowitja Institute Continuous Quality Improvement conference 2014
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2014
Racism and children/youth health symposium 2014
Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium 2014
2015 conferences
#CPHCEforum
#CRANAplus15
#HSR15
#NRHC15
#OTCC15
Population Health Congress 2015
2016 conferences
#AHHAsim16
#AHMRC16
#ANROWS2016
#ATSISPEP
#AusCanIndigenousWellness
#cphce2016
#CPHCEforum16
#CRANAplus2016
#IAMRA2016
#LowitjaConf2016
#PreventObesity16
#TowardsRecovery
#VMIAC16
#WearablesCEH
#WICC2016
2017 conferences
#17APCC
#ACEM17
#AIDAconf2017
#BTH20
#CATSINaM17
#ClimateHealthStrategy
#IAHAConf17
#IDS17
#LBQWHC17
#LivingOurWay
#OKtoAskAu
#OTCC2017
#ResearchTranslation17
#TheMHS2017
#VMIACConf17
#WCPH2017
Australian Palliative Care Conference
2018 conferences
#6rrhss
#ACEM18
#AHPA2018
#ATSISPC18
#CPHCE
#MHED18
#NDISMentalHealth
#Nurseforce
#OKToAsk2018
#RANZCOG18
#ResearchIntoPolicy
#VHAawards
#VMIACAwards18
#WISPC18
2019 Conferences
#ACEM19
#CPHCE19
#EquallyWellAust
#GiantSteps19
#HealthAdvocacyWIM
#KTthatWorks
#LowitjaConf2019
#MHAgeing
#NNF2019
#OKtoAsk2019
#RANZCOG19
#RANZCP2019
#ruralhealthconf
#VMIAC2019
#WHOcollabAHPRA
Croakey Professional Services archive
#bettercareseries
#CommunityControl Twitter Festival
ACSQHC series 2019
Croakey projects archive
#IndigenousHealthSummit
#IndigenousNCDs
#JustClimate
#JustJustice
Croakey register of influence
Croakey Register of Influencers in Public Health
Croakey Register of Unreleased Documents
Naked Doctor
Poems of Public Health
Summer Reading 2016-2017
Summer Reading 2017-2018
The Koori Woman
Wonky Health
CroakeyGO archive 2017 – 2018
CroakeyGo 2017
#CroakeyGO Adelaide 2017
#CroakeyGO Melbourne 2017
#CroakeyGO Newcastle 2017
#CroakeyGO Sydney 2017
CroakeyGo 2018
#CroakeyGO #QuantumWords 2018
#CroakeyGO #VicVotes 2018
#CroakeyGO Albury 2018
#CroakeyGO Callan Park 2018
#CroakeyGO Carnarvon 2018
#CroakeyGO Marrickville 2018
#CroakeyGO Palm Island 2018
Elections and Budgets 2013 – 2019
#AusVotesHealth Twitter Festival 2019
#Health4NSW
#HealthElection16
Federal Budget 2009-2010
Federal Budget 2010
Federal Budget 2011
Federal Budget 2012-2013
Federal Budget 2013-14
Federal Budget 2014-15
Federal Budget 2015-16
Federal Budget 2016-17
Federal Budget 2017/18
Federal Budget 2018-19
Federal Election 2010
Federal Election 2013
Federal Election 2016
Federal Election 2019
NSW Election 2015
NSW Election 2019
NT Election 2016
Qld Election 2015
Victorian Election 2014
WA election 2021
Support non-profit public interest journalism
Search
Generic filters
Filter by Categories
@WePublicHealth2021
#BackToTheFire
#CroakeyLIVE #Budget2021Health
#GiantSteps21
#HearMe21
#MHReform
#OutOfTheBox
#QldVotesHealth
#RANZCP2021
#RCIADIC30Years
#RuralHealthJustice
#ShiftingGearsSummit
#TRIPSwaiver
2021 Floods
Budget2020Health
Bushfires
community control
COVID-19
Croakey Conference News Service
#2020ResearchExcellence
#Govern4Health
#HealthReImagined
#SAHeapsUnfair
#ValueBasedCare
Croakey Professional Services
#BetterCareCOVID
#CommunityControl
Croakey projects
@WePublicHealth
@WePublicHealth2020
#CommunityMatters
#CoveringClimateNow
#CroakeyLIVE #USvotesHealth
#CroakeyREAD
#CroakeyVOICES
#CroakeyYOUTH
#JusticeCOVID
#LookingLocal
#OutOfPocket
#TalkingTeeth
AroundTheTraps
Caring for the Frontline
COVIDglobalMHseries
Croakey longreads
CroakeyEXPLORE
Gavin Mooney
Inside Story
Journal Watch
PIJ Commissions 2020
Summer Reading 2019-2020
The Conversation
The Health Wrap
TOO MUCH of a Good Thing
CroakeyGO
#CroakeyGO #NavigatingHealth
#GamblingHarms
#HeatwaveHealth
Mapping CroakeyGo
CroakeyNews
Cultural determinants of health
Digital platforms
Elections and budgets
Federal Budget 2019-20
Federal Budget 2020-21
Federal Budget 2021-22
Global health and climate change
2019-20 climate bushfire emergency
asylum seeker and refugee health
climate change
disasters
Ebola
extreme weather events
flooding 2011
global health
NHS
NZ Election 2017
WHO
health
Healthcare and health reform
abortion
adverse events
aged care
allied health care
Australian Medical Association
cancer
cardiovascular disease
child health
Choosing Wisely
chronic diseases
co-payments
Cochrane Collaboration
complementary medicines
conflicts of interest
death and dying
diabetes
digital technology
disabilities
e-health
emergency departments and care
Equally Well
euthanasia
evidence-based issues
general practice
genetics
health & medical marketing
health and medical education
health and medical research
Health Care Homes
health ethics
health financing and costs
health reform
health regulation
health workforce
HIV/AIDS
hospitals
HRT
infectious diseases
influenza
international medical graduates
journal articles
LGBTIQ
medical marijuana
Medicare Locals
men's health
mental health
MyHospitals website
National Commission of Audit 2014
National Health Performance Authority
naturopathy
NDIS
NHMRC
non communicable diseases
nurses and nursing
oral health
organ transplants
out of pocket costs
pain
palliative care
paramedics
pathology
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
pharmaceutical industry
pharmacy
Pregnancy and childbirth
primary health care
Primary Health Networks
private health insurance
quality and safety of health care
rural and remote health
screening
sexual health
social media and healthcare
suicide
surgery
swine flu
telehealth
tests
TGA
trauma
women's health
youth health
Indigenous health
#CTG10
#NTRC
Acknowledgement
cultural safety
Indigenous education
Lowitja Institute
NT Intervention
social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
WA community closures
News about Croakey
PIJ Commissions 2021
Public health and population health
#PreventiveHealthStrategy
#UnmetNeedsinPublicHealth
air pollution
alcohol
consumer health matters
Coronavirus outbreak 2019-2020
COVIDwrap
environmental health
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
food and nutrition
gambling
Government 2.0
gun control
health communications
health impact assessment
Health in All Policies
health inequalities
health literacy
human rights
illicit drugs
injuries
legal issues
marriage equality
Media Doctor Australia
media-related issues
nanny state
National Preventive Health Agency
obesity
occupational health
physical activity
plain packaging
prevention
public health
public interest journalism
road safety
sport
sugar tax
tobacco control
transport
vaccination
violence
Web 2.0
weight loss products
Royal Commission
Social determinants of health
discrimination
education
justice
Justice Reinvestment
NBN
Newstart
poverty
racism
social policy
Summer reading 2020-2021
Tasmanian election 2021
The Croakey Archives
#cripcroakey
#HealthEquity16
#HealthMatters
#IHMayDay (all years)
#IHMayDay 2014
#IHMayDay15
#IHMayday16
#IHMayDay17
#IHMayDay18
#LoveRural 2014
Croakey Conference News Service 2013 – 2019
2013 conferences
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation Forum 2013
Australian Health Promotion Association Conference 2013
Closing the Credibility Gap 2013
CRANAplus Conference 2013
FASD Conference 2013
Health Workforce Australia 2013
International Health Literacy Network Conference 2013
NACCHO Summit 2013
National Rural Health Conference 2013
Oceania EcoHealth Symposium 2013
PHAA conference 2013
2014 conferences
#IPCHIV14
AIDA Conference 2014
Congress Lowitja 2014
CRANAplus conference 2014
Cultural Solutions - Healing Foundation forum 2014
Lowitja Institute Continuous Quality Improvement conference 2014
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2014
Racism and children/youth health symposium 2014
Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium 2014
2015 conferences
#CPHCEforum
#CRANAplus15
#HSR15
#NRHC15
#OTCC15
Population Health Congress 2015
2016 conferences
#AHHAsim16
#AHMRC16
#ANROWS2016
#ATSISPEP
#AusCanIndigenousWellness
#cphce2016
#CPHCEforum16
#CRANAplus2016
#IAMRA2016
#LowitjaConf2016
#PreventObesity16
#TowardsRecovery
#VMIAC16
#WearablesCEH
#WICC2016
2017 conferences
#17APCC
#ACEM17
#AIDAconf2017
#BTH20
#CATSINaM17
#ClimateHealthStrategy
#IAHAConf17
#IDS17
#LBQWHC17
#LivingOurWay
#OKtoAskAu
#OTCC2017
#ResearchTranslation17
#TheMHS2017
#VMIACConf17
#WCPH2017
Australian Palliative Care Conference
2018 conferences
#6rrhss
#ACEM18
#AHPA2018
#ATSISPC18
#CPHCE
#MHED18
#NDISMentalHealth
#Nurseforce
#OKToAsk2018
#RANZCOG18
#ResearchIntoPolicy
#VHAawards
#VMIACAwards18
#WISPC18
2019 Conferences
#ACEM19
#CPHCE19
#EquallyWellAust
#GiantSteps19
#HealthAdvocacyWIM
#KTthatWorks
#LowitjaConf2019
#MHAgeing
#NNF2019
#OKtoAsk2019
#RANZCOG19
#RANZCP2019
#ruralhealthconf
#VMIAC2019
#WHOcollabAHPRA
Croakey Professional Services archive
#bettercareseries
#CommunityControl Twitter Festival
ACSQHC series 2019
Croakey projects archive
#IndigenousHealthSummit
#IndigenousNCDs
#JustClimate
#JustJustice
Croakey register of influence
Croakey Register of Influencers in Public Health
Croakey Register of Unreleased Documents
Naked Doctor
Poems of Public Health
Summer Reading 2016-2017
Summer Reading 2017-2018
The Koori Woman
Wonky Health
CroakeyGO archive 2017 – 2018
CroakeyGo 2017
#CroakeyGO Adelaide 2017
#CroakeyGO Melbourne 2017
#CroakeyGO Newcastle 2017
#CroakeyGO Sydney 2017
CroakeyGo 2018
#CroakeyGO #QuantumWords 2018
#CroakeyGO #VicVotes 2018
#CroakeyGO Albury 2018
#CroakeyGO Callan Park 2018
#CroakeyGO Carnarvon 2018
#CroakeyGO Marrickville 2018
#CroakeyGO Palm Island 2018
Elections and Budgets 2013 – 2019
#AusVotesHealth Twitter Festival 2019
#Health4NSW
#HealthElection16
Federal Budget 2009-2010
Federal Budget 2010
Federal Budget 2011
Federal Budget 2012-2013
Federal Budget 2013-14
Federal Budget 2014-15
Federal Budget 2015-16
Federal Budget 2016-17
Federal Budget 2017/18
Federal Budget 2018-19
Federal Election 2010
Federal Election 2013
Federal Election 2016
Federal Election 2019
NSW Election 2015
NSW Election 2019
NT Election 2016
Qld Election 2015
Victorian Election 2014
WA election 2021

Combatting alcohol industry lobbying: a way forward

Unsafe alcohol consumption is a longstanding public health issue in Australia and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for comprehensive policy measures to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol use on our community.

However, evidence-based policy making is difficult in an environment in which lobbying by the alcohol industry can influence government decision making.

Recent public health research has identified the multiple ways in which alcohol industry representatives seek to influence government and experts have also recommended a number of ways in which this influence could be curtailed in the interests of better

These issues are discussed in more details by former FARE Chief Executive and current WHO adviser, Michael Thorn, below.

This piece first appeared in Pearls and Irritations as part of its Lobbyland series and is re-posted here with permission. Some minor changes to the original have been made by the author.


Michael Thorn writes:

These are dangerous times for the public’s health – and by that I don’t mean the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. History records that governments pressed to find ways to overcome economic calamities, whether man-made (GFC) or natural (COVID-19), are vulnerable to doing dumb things.

To illustrate, Prohibition in America was ended largely by the depression that followed the 1929 Wall Street crash. Many will say Prohibition ‘was an act of national recklessness’, but its imposition came after nearly a century of campaigning by a broad coalition of groups determined to counter the harm caused by alcohol.

Despite the undoubted problems with Prohibition – crime and corruption – the 18th Amendment had been in place for more than a decade, had been effective and remained popular in middle America when it was abolished. Even today there are counties in the US where the sale of alcohol is still banned.

It wasn’t until Franklin Roosevelt’s successful tilt at the US Presidency in 1932 that the 18th Amendment was repealed, and the reason was partially ‘jobs’. Does this sound familiar?

Large sections of the alcohol industry, with the brewers at the forefront, had persuaded Roosevelt that restoration of the industry would create jobs and generate much-needed tax revenue to help fund his New Deal.

The temperance movement’s resistance to any relaxation of strict prohibition made it easier for the Democrats to repeal the 18th Amendment, but it wasn’t for governance or social justice reasons that Prohibition came to end. It was for economic reasons.

The Australian situation

Today, the rhetoric of Australian governments in search of economic recovery policy action potentially exposes Australia to decisions that may threaten the public’s health. Unhealthy commodity industries – alcohol, gambling and junk food – are always urging the government to adopt policies friendly to their economic interests, and governments have been very accommodating.

And since the beginning of this government-induced recession we have seen how desperate governments are to do things that will stimulate the economy and protect jobs. This is understandable, given how badly some sectors have been hit. But the recession is also being used as cover to make policy changes that in other times would be subjected to greater scrutiny, and some including the alcohol industry are determined to take advantage.

Once it became clear that the coronavirus was turning into a global pandemic, it was predictable that alcohol consumption was likely to increase. The World Health Organization took longer than it should, but ultimately issued warnings in March 2020 to both consumers and governments about these risks.

It is unclear whether total alcohol consumption has increased or not, but it is clear that drinking at home has increased and that the harms caused by this have also increased.

Regulatory changes

State governments, under the cover of supporting the hospitality sector, have facilitated extraordinary relaxations of access to alcohol. Restaurants and bars have been given licence to sell and deliver packaged alcohol, bottle shops have expanded their home delivery services and online retailers have boosted their marketing in pursuit of sales.

These regulatory changes have been in the face of extensive media reports about family and domestic violence during the lockdowns, and similar extensive coverage of mental health. Both are issues where there are clear evidentiary links to alcohol consumption. As such, it is perverse that alcohol would be made easier to obtain during the pandemic.

Alcohol industry representatives have been furiously lobbying for concessions to the efforts by governments to restrict the movement of people – the primary tool in fighting the virus. The ease with which concessions favourable to the alcohol industry have been made is unsurprising given the relationship between the industry and the political establishment. This is a very powerful industry that has a long record of getting its way with governments.

Recent research findings

However, in recent years there has been increased disquiet about the influence of corporations on democracies, including Australia’s. This has led researchers to study the nature and extent of this influence.

Melbourne University’s Professor Rob Moodie has been a long-time observer of the politics of health and described the breadth of this influence in his 2017 piece for The Conversation, The seven tactics unhealthy industries use to undermine public health policies.

In a 2011 Lancet paper Profits and pandemics: prevention of harmful effects, Moodie and colleagues went further, outlining the strategies unhealthy commodity industries use.

Moodie recorded the publishing of biased research findings, co-opting policymakers and health professionals, lobbying politicians and public officials to oppose public regulation, encouraging voters to oppose public health regulation, deflecting criticism, promoting actions on topics outside their areas of expertise, and offering alternative (invariably voluntary) approaches designed to have minimal impact, but that cause delay or deter policymakers from introducing regulation that will curtail the industries’ activities.

Lobbying is only one element and there is now a growing research base about the art of lobbying. British academics Ben Hawkins and Chris Holden in ‘Water dripping on stone’? Industry lobbying and UK alcohol policy say:

Businesses employ three main [lobbying] strategies: informational, financial and constituency building (Hillman and Hitt, 1999). The first seeks to influence policy by providing decision makers with pertinent information or specific technical expertise. Businesses conduct their own research, lobby policy makers, respond to consultations and appear as expert witnesses.

Financial strategies rely on inducements such as campaign contributions to influence decisions makers’ positions. However, it is possible to define financial strategies more broadly to include the delivery of public goods. Thus, the ability of corporations to deliver specific policy outcomes – for example through a system of self-regulation – may be considered a form of financial incentive to ministers and civil servants with limited resources.

Finally, constituency-building strategies aim to build support for particular policy interventions among the broader public, who in turn express these views to government.

The lobbying continuum

This lobbying is a continuum from soft (wining and dining) through to hard (threats and intimidation) power. The alcohol industry uses them all, and with its deep pockets can achieve its ends or least mitigate the effects of policies being put in place to cut the magnitude of alcohol harm.

To put the extent of lobbying into perspective, at the 2018 Public Health Association of Australia Health Prevention Conference Curtin University academic Professor Mike Daube reported the tobacco industry employed 20 direct and 14 indirect lobbyists, junk food 33 and 13, gambling 31 and 16, and ‘top of the pops’ alcohol with 43 and 23.

These numbers obviously change from year to year and depend on the prevailing policy milieu, but it shows how heavily these industries invest in seeking to influence governments.

Alcohol industry lobbying

A recent shocking example of this influence was revealed in the ABC’s Background Briefing The Pub Test: why Australia can’t stop drinking (28 July 2019), which revealed how the alcohol industry in cahoots with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt were attempting to weaken an already weak draft National Alcohol Strategy.

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) analysed the before and after of the draft strategy and found extensive changes favourable to the industry. Only a rebellion led WA Health Minister Roger Cook mitigated the changes.

In its submission to the Senate Select Committee into the Political Influence of Donations in October 2017, FARE detailed examples of how the alcohol industry had successfully lobbied to achieve advantageous policy changes, including liberalisation of gaming laws in NSW to allow poker machines in pubs and changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax regime to favour grape growers and wine makers.

The submission analysed the flow and timing of donations and showed strong correlations with eventual policy changes.

So – what to do?

The Grattan Report

The Grattan Institute’s 2018 report Who’s in the room? Access and influence in Australian politics shows how ‘Well-resourced interests – such as big business, unions and not-for-profits – use money, resources and relationships to influence policy to serve their interests, at times at the expense of the public interest’.

The report did a commendable job in documenting and analysing this world of political influence and nicely described the problem and made useful suggestions to tip the balance back towards the public interest.

The Grattan report proposed improving transparency in policy making by requiring ministerial diaries to be published to enable public scrutiny of who ministers are meeting – and not meeting  – and encouraging them to seek out a wider range of views.

The report also suggested linking the lobbyists’ register to ‘orange passes’ to identify commercial and in-house lobbyists with privileged behind-the- scenes access to Parliament House, and improving the visibility of political donations by lowering the donation disclosure thresholds, requiring political parties to aggregate multiple donations from the same donor and requiring more timely release of donations data.

Accountability of policy makers

The report also argued for strengthening accountability of policy makers to clarify conflicts of interest codes to build public confidence that people are complying with them and establish a federal anti-corruption body to investigate potential misconduct or corruption.

The report proposed capping political advertising expenditure by political parties and third parties during election campaigns, to reduce the imbalance between groups with different means to broadcast political views so limit the reliance of major political parties on individual donors.

Another suggestion was to boost countervailing voices through more inclusive policy review processes, proposing advocacy for under-represented groups to give politicians and public officials better information with which to adjudicate the public interest. To which I would add seeding these organisations with public funds to ensure they can be effective.

Standing commissions of inquiry

In my review of Grattan’s report I proposed standing commissions of inquiry, with Royal Commission-like powers, to combat the problems of regulatory capture and to counter corporate influence. I wrote that greater government transparency was also needed. FOI laws must function as intended and those who (public servants) hinder their operation brought to book.

Finally, vested interests should be excluded from public policymaking. That means coal miners should not be involved in developing climate change policy and, and as the World Health Organization recommends, the alcohol industry should not be involved in the making of alcohol policy.

Who knows how or when we will emerge from this COVID-19 crisis. But one thing is clear – public health is extremely vulnerable to the politics of economic recovery and the activities of vested interests such as the alcohol industry must be under constant scrutiny.

Michael Thorn is a public health consultant and adviser to WHO Europe and was Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Policy and Research from 2011 to 2019.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Search by: Categories or tags

Search
Generic filters
Filter by Categories
@WePublicHealth2021
#BackToTheFire
#CroakeyLIVE #Budget2021Health
#GiantSteps21
#HearMe21
#MHReform
#OutOfTheBox
#QldVotesHealth
#RANZCP2021
#RCIADIC30Years
#RuralHealthJustice
#ShiftingGearsSummit
#TRIPSwaiver
2021 Floods
Budget2020Health
Bushfires
codesign
community control
COVID-19
Croakey Conference News Service
#2020ResearchExcellence
#Govern4Health
#HealthReImagined
#SAHeapsUnfair
#ValueBasedCare
Croakey Professional Services
#BetterCareCOVID
#CommunityControl
Healthdirect Australia series 2019
Croakey projects
@WePublicHealth
@WePublicHealth2020
#CommunityMatters
#CoveringClimateNow
#CroakeyLIVE #USvotesHealth
#CroakeyREAD
#CroakeyVOICES
#CroakeyYOUTH
#JusticeCOVID
#LookingLocal
#OutOfPocket
#TalkingTeeth
AroundTheTraps
Caring for the Frontline
COVIDglobalMHseries
Croakey longreads
CroakeyEXPLORE
Gavin Mooney
Inside Story
Journal Watch
PIJ Commissions 2020
Summer Reading 2019-2020
The Conversation
The Health Wrap
TOO MUCH of a Good Thing
CroakeyGO
#CroakeyGO #NavigatingHealth
#GamblingHarms
#HeatwaveHealth
Mapping CroakeyGo
CroakeyNews
Cultural determinants of health
Digital platforms
Elections and budgets
Federal Budget 2019-20
Federal Budget 2020-21
Federal Budget 2021-22
Global health and climate change
2019-20 climate bushfire emergency
asylum seeker and refugee health
climate change
disasters
Ebola
extreme weather events
flooding 2011
global health
NHS
NZ Election 2017
WHO
health
Healthcare and health reform
abortion
adverse events
aged care
allied health care
Australian Medical Association
cancer
cardiovascular disease
child health
Choosing Wisely
chronic diseases
co-payments
Cochrane Collaboration
complementary medicines
conflicts of interest
death and dying
diabetes
digital technology
disabilities
e-health
emergency departments and care
Equally Well
euthanasia
evidence-based issues
general practice
genetics
health & medical marketing
health and medical education
health and medical research
Health Care Homes
health ethics
health financing and costs
health reform
health regulation
health workforce
HIV/AIDS
hospitals
HRT
infectious diseases
influenza
international medical graduates
journal articles
LGBTIQ
medical marijuana
Medicare Locals
men's health
mental health
MyHospitals website
National Commission of Audit 2014
National Health Performance Authority
naturopathy
NDIS
NHMRC
non communicable diseases
nurses and nursing
oral health
organ transplants
out of pocket costs
pain
palliative care
paramedics
pathology
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
pharmaceutical industry
pharmacy
Pregnancy and childbirth
primary health care
Primary Health Networks
private health insurance
quality and safety of health care
rural and remote health
screening
sexual health
social media and healthcare
suicide
surgery
swine flu
telehealth
tests
TGA
trauma
women's health
youth health
Indigenous health
#CTG10
#NTRC
Acknowledgement
cultural safety
Indigenous education
Lowitja Institute
NT Intervention
social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
WA community closures
News about Croakey
PIJ Commissions 2021
Public health and population health
#PreventiveHealthStrategy
#UnmetNeedsinPublicHealth
air pollution
alcohol
consumer health matters
Coronavirus outbreak 2019-2020
COVIDwrap
environmental health
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
food and nutrition
gambling
Government 2.0
gun control
health communications
health impact assessment
Health in All Policies
health inequalities
health literacy
human rights
illicit drugs
injuries
legal issues
marriage equality
Media Doctor Australia
media-related issues
nanny state
National Preventive Health Agency
obesity
occupational health
physical activity
plain packaging
prevention
public health
public interest journalism
road safety
sport
sugar tax
tobacco control
transport
vaccination
violence
Web 2.0
weight loss products
Royal Commission
Social determinants of health
discrimination
education
justice
Justice Reinvestment
NBN
Newstart
poverty
racism
social policy
Summer reading 2020-2021
Tasmanian election 2021
Testing Croakey News category 1
The Croakey Archives
#cripcroakey
#HealthEquity16
#HealthMatters
#IHMayDay (all years)
#IHMayDay 2014
#IHMayDay15
#IHMayday16
#IHMayDay17
#IHMayDay18
#LoveRural 2014
Croakey Conference News Service 2013 – 2019
2013 conferences
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation Forum 2013
Australian Health Promotion Association Conference 2013
Closing the Credibility Gap 2013
CRANAplus Conference 2013
FASD Conference 2013
Health Workforce Australia 2013
International Health Literacy Network Conference 2013
NACCHO Summit 2013
National Rural Health Conference 2013
Oceania EcoHealth Symposium 2013
PHAA conference 2013
2014 conferences
#IPCHIV14
AIDA Conference 2014
Congress Lowitja 2014
CRANAplus conference 2014
Cultural Solutions - Healing Foundation forum 2014
Lowitja Institute Continuous Quality Improvement conference 2014
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2014
Racism and children/youth health symposium 2014
Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium 2014
2015 conferences
#CPHCEforum
#CRANAplus15
#HSR15
#NRHC15
#OTCC15
Population Health Congress 2015
2016 conferences
#AHHAsim16
#AHMRC16
#ANROWS2016
#ATSISPEP
#AusCanIndigenousWellness
#cphce2016
#CPHCEforum16
#CRANAplus2016
#IAMRA2016
#LowitjaConf2016
#PreventObesity16
#TowardsRecovery
#VMIAC16
#WearablesCEH
#WICC2016
2017 conferences
#17APCC
#ACEM17
#AIDAconf2017
#BTH20
#CATSINaM17
#ClimateHealthStrategy
#IAHAConf17
#IDS17
#LBQWHC17
#LivingOurWay
#OKtoAskAu
#OTCC2017
#ResearchTranslation17
#TheMHS2017
#VMIACConf17
#WCPH2017
Australian Palliative Care Conference
2018 conferences
#6rrhss
#ACEM18
#AHPA2018