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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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The pros and cons of pill testing

Last weekend saw Australia’s first state government sanctioned pill testing trial at the Groovin the Moo music festival in Canberra. Noffs Foundation chief executive, Matt Noffs, who is a member of the Safety and Testing and Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE) consortium, suggested that the trial was a success in terms of reducing harms to festival attendees. In recent years, there have been a number of deaths in Australia as a result of toxic quality pills being consumed at music festivals and nightclubs, as well as party drug-related overdoses. In response, public health experts and other commentators have promoted pill testing as an intervention that should be intro... Read more...

Australia’s WTO plain cigarette packaging case: an update

Australia is a respondent in five World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes regarding the introduction of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (TPPA). The disputes were commenced by Ukraine, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Indonesia (the Applicants).  Read more...

The 'nanny state' and freedom of choice

In recent times, a number of Australian Government policy initiatives have been criticised as ‘nanny state’ or ‘paternalist’ policies. Describing policies in this way resonates with concerns held by many that there should be limits to the extent to which governments should protect people from the consequences of their choices. But are there circumstances in which some help from ‘nanny’ can be justified? This week the tobacco industry launched a nation-wide media campaign in an attempt to stop the Government introducing plain packaging for all tobacco products sold in Australia. The industry has based its campaign around the idea that the policy is a ‘nanny state’ measure. The campaign has be... Read more...

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