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November 13th, 2012:

Tobacco donor ban closer

Tobacco donor ban closer

MATT SMITH | November 13, 2012 01.50pm

STATE legislation banning political donations from tobacco companies has moved one step closer.

An amendment to the Electoral Act, which would render the Tasmanian Liberals unable to accept political donations from tobacco companies, passed the Lower House of Parliament this morning.

The amendment – branded “unconstitutional” by the Liberals — will now move to the Upper House.

Greens health spokesman Paul O’Halloran said the move meant Attorney-General Brian Wightman had delivered on a majority vote of the chamber more than a year ago in support of a Greens’ motion calling for legislative reform.

“If political representatives want to encourage smokers to end their tobacco addiction then it’s only appropriate for political parties show leadership by ending end their addiction to tobacco company donations,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“The community expects their elected representatives to walk the talk, particularly when Tasmania has the highest smoking rate across Australia.

“A ban on big tobacco donations is just one aspect of our political donations reform package, and we will continue to pursue for further necessary reform.

“We are confident the Legislative Council will support this progressive reform that will benefit Tasmanian health and ease the burden on the health system.”

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