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Australia Upholds Logo Ban On Cigarette Packs

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Australia Upholds Logo Ban On Cigarette Packs

Post by Pedro Silva on Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:42 pm


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Re: Australia Upholds Logo Ban On Cigarette Packs

Post by dianeh on Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:15 pm

Dont get me started on this Pedro. Although I am very very anti smoking, this decision is an infringement on property rights. The issue is, if the govt actions erode the value of your property via legislation, should the party that suffers the loss be compensated? The High Court has said no. So our govt has made the trademarks, logos etc (which are all property with value) for tobacco companies worthless but has not compensated for it, or purchased those rights.

This bodes poorly for property rights within our country. For eg if the govt is building a new freeway, they could instead of purchasing your house that is in the path, simply legislate to make it illegal to live there. Now most people are horrified that this could happen but dont realise that the loss of the property rights of the tobacco companies is not different from the loss of property rights over a house, or water licenses, or any other intellectual property. BTW, we have a constant erosion of property rights with examples such as native vegetation regulations preventing farmers from farming land they own (even freehold land), unable to clear land or remove trees (even if they are going to fall on your house), limits placed on the transfer of water from irrigation districts - makes the water left behind virtually worthless until next year, rezoning of land by councils where for eg a factory ends up next to houses, the reduction in value of houses next to a new freeway or railway, or new airport. Govt should not be free to bankrupt us or to take away the value of our assets, without being adequate compensation.

Anyway, it is no over yet. The tobacco companies are fighting this in some international court as it appears to be illegal under the WTO laws. If found illegal, then it will get even more interesting.

Interesting as well is that the High Court ruling about the trademark/logo property rights could be used to extinguish property rights resulting from carbon trading without compensation being payable. Probably not what the govt intended since they introduced the hated carbon tax (it is about as popular as the poll tax was in Britain).

So while I am no fan of smoking, making property worthless without compensation is no precedent to be set even to try to reduce smoking. Better to ban smoking altogether but then how to collect the billions in tax if that happened.


Last edited by dianeh on Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Australia Upholds Logo Ban On Cigarette Packs

Post by dianeh on Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:16 pm

Ok, so I got started. I apologise for my rant.

Ooops
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Re: Australia Upholds Logo Ban On Cigarette Packs

Post by Pedro Silva on Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:14 pm

dianeh, no problem.

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Re: Australia Upholds Logo Ban On Cigarette Packs

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