Government Senators' Additional Comments

Government Senators note and generally support the recommendations of the committee.
The Government is determined to continue working to prevent babies from being born with FASD, supporting women and families to stop drinking if they are planning to have a baby and during the pregnancy, and helping babies born with this condition.1
This is expressed in the Department of Health Submission:
The Australian Government is committed to reducing alcohol related harms including FASD.2
Government Senators support the Morrison Government’s commitment to investing nearly $24 million of funding for FASD Diagnostic and Support Services,3 as well as the investment of over $140 million to prevent and reduce the harms from alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.4
Government Senators note that Recommendation 9 recommends that ‘[t]he committee recommends that the Australian Government implement as a matter of priority marketing, pricing and taxation reforms as set out in the National Alcohol Strategy 2019-2028’.
Government Senators consider Australia’s current alcohol taxation setting are appropriate and acknowledges that the Morrison Government has no plans to make any changes to the taxation settings.
The National Alcohol Strategy notes that Australia’s levels of alcohol taxation are already in the top third of countries within the OECD and that excise rates for alcohol are indexed twice a year in line with the consumer price index.5
Furthermore, the National Alcohol Strategy noted that, other pricing mechanisms such as a Minimum Unit Price on alcohol are a matter for the States and Territories.
Senator Wendy Askew
Senator Hollie Hughes

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