Check your facts, Tanya

4582466-3x2-940x627 I saw Tanya Plibersek on the TV literally jumping for joy at the loss of 180 jobs from the Philip Morris factory at Morrabbin in Melbourne. Is this a good look?

She had got it into her head that the closure of the plant was somehow linked to her woeful policy of plain cigarette packaging.  If she had bothered to look at the statement released by the company, the principal reason for the closure was the regulatory requirement imposed in 2010 for fire resistant cigarettes.  This is about attempting to prevent carelessly discarded cigarettes do not lead to fires, including bushfires.

I can just imagine the lame Regulation Impact Statement that provided the rationale for this imposition.  Evidently, 75 per cent of cigarettes in a packet must not completely burn if discarded.

The cigarettes that meet this regulation, however, do not appeal to overseas customers, so the company’s export markets were closed off.

Mind you, Tanya may have been listening to ABC radio which did mislead us all by claiming that plain packaging was part of the reason for the plant closure.  Well done, Mr Scott – another example of accuracy and impartiality.

As far as I can tell, there is no evidence at all that the plain packaging requirement is having any effect.  Cigarette sales are flat (on a marked downward trend) and the one study that dealt with young people taking up smoking could establish no impact of plain packaging.  Note also that the apologists such as the Cancer Council are getting nervous, claiming now that an immediate impact was never expected. Sure.

Here is some of the information about the Philip Morris plant closure:

The international tobacco giant has been making cigarettes at its Moorabbin plant for nearly 60 years, but will now shift production for the local market to Korea.

About 180 employees will lose their jobs at the factory, although Philip Morris (PML) says it will still employ about 550 people in its Australian corporate operations, which will remain headquartered in Melbourne.

Philip Morris said the decision was due to a gradual decline in the local market over the past decade and Australian Government regulations introduced in 2010 that required locally made cigarettes to conform to standards that reduced fire risks.

“Despite the introduction of plain packaging and the continued growth in illicit trade, PML’s volumes were stable in 2013,” said the company’s managing director for Australia, John Gledhill.

“However, with any significant export opportunity restricted by Australian Government regulations, our Moorabbin factory is significantly underutilised, operating at less than half of its currently installed capacity.”

 

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79 Responses to Check your facts, Tanya

  1. Habib

    She really is a loathesome creature, a perfect example of much, if not all that’s wrong with the modern ALP, and why they should be kept off the treasury benches whenever possible.

  2. Come, expecting the Hon. Tanya Plibersek to check her facts is rather like expecting the scorpion not to sting the frog.

  3. Rabz


    Is this a good look?

    It may not be a good look, but it’s totally unexpected. The ‘modern’ Australian labor pardee has abandoned any pretense of representing the working class, who are now held in total contempt by the the inner city bludgetariat.

  4. Rabz

    but it’s totally hardly unexpected.

    x

  5. Snoopy

    Will the Korean lungsters be ‘fire resistant’? Are any imported smokes ‘fire resistant’?

  6. nerblnob

    The UK news , both BBC and ITV, is still promoting plain packaging as having been a great success in Australia every time the issue comes up. The numbers they quote sound unconvincing (2% reduction in young people taking up smoking!!) but it’s attained the top-down implied consensus aura we got with climate whatever and gay marriage.

    Given what I’ve heard from young people who do smoke, I can’t help wondering if the government anti-obesity and anti-smoking campaigns are not working against each other. I mean, surely some of them have calculated that if “obesity” takes more years off your life than smoking, maybe smoking is the better bet. At least you can still get a root.

  7. will

    Next up: Phillip Morris withdraws from marketing (?) and selling into the Australian market, as it is not profitable due to limited volume and government mandates.

    Consumers with a preference for this brand (do smokers prefer brands? do they really ‘taste” different? They all seem equally disgusting to me) will no longer be able to buy them.

    Poetic justice: most of them would be ALP voters.

    Likely longer term outcome: eventually the market will be dominated by a generic brand.

    Impact on consumption: nil.

  8. stackja

    Once again ALP/unions kill Australian jobs.

  9. Mayan

    … and the continued growth in illicit trade …

    It would be interesting to know the size of that trade. There have been some large scale attempts to import cigarettes (and probably many successes) and there are a few reports out there of tobacco growing on the black market.

    I know of several people who own their own stills. The high ‘sin taxes’ seem to be having a predictable result: opening up the black market and production to serve it.

  10. So the Trade Union Party and it’s propaganda outfit are both lying.
    One of their MP’s is misleading parliament.
    The poor continue to be taxed.

    But still won a senate seat in WA?
    Probably because he’s on record claiming the rest of the party are mad.

  11. Snoopy

    If only the anti-obesity campaign was as successful as the anti-bulimia campaign that preceded it.

  12. Sinclair Davidson

    The policy was designed to stop peolpe smoking, not stop people working.

  13. And I hear on the news tonight, the Trade Union Party are opposing development next to the Sydney Botanic Gardens, including a train station, ferry terminal and upgrades to playing fields paid for by a 4 story hotel because, wait for it, it’s ‘too commercial’!
    They claim it’s a Liberal Party ‘political stunt’!

    Was what Obeid, Thommo, ex-ALP president Williamson, and Madam Slush did not commercial?

    Joe Bullock was right, they’re all mad.

  14. Senile Old Guy

    The policy was designed to stop people smoking, not stop people working.

    A quibble, Sinc, but it wasn’t really “designed” to do that, as existing work before the legislation was passed indicated that it wouldn’t work. So the policy was supposed to stop people smoking but no sensible people thought it would.

  15. Notafan

    Why wouldn’t the government have exempted cigarettes being manufactured for export from the fire retardant regulations?

  16. Fat Tony

    If they were really concerned about discarded butts causing fires, then a good start would be to start putting ashtrays back into new cars.
    What are smokers supposed to do – eat their ciggie butts??
    I don’t smoke, but the ashtrays were always good coin trays (unlike the cupholders we have now).

  17. Tapdog

    This is called ‘misleading the Parliament’

  18. lem

    Philip Morris is closing it’s largest factory in France according to Le Figaro:

  19. Gab

    Hey, remember back when doctors got people hooked on ciggies…

  20. cohenite

    As bad as she may be she is not a patch on Sarah 2-dads or tubby Milne.

  21. lem

    ah Gab, the good old days, but you had to be careful to flick the butt accurately into the ashtray, or there was a risk of igniting the thin layer of ether that clung to the floor of any hospital corridor with an operating room nearby (I am informed by much older colleagues)

  22. H B Bear

    Surely there is a socialist Eastern European shit-hole that will take her back? If not, I’m sure The Pute could line one up.

  23. Brian of Moorabbin

    Will the Korean lungsters be ‘fire resistant’? Are any imported smokes ‘fire resistant’?

    AFAIK, no they do not need to meet the same regulations that Australian-made ciggies are required to.

    This is why Phillip Morris is only moving production, and not the whole box-and-dice of the company overseas.

    (It also means that it won’t be long before the other Australian manufacturers also move off-shore at the cost of more ‘wukkas’ jobs)

  24. Gab

    Surely there is a socialist Eastern European shit-hole that will take her back?

    Come now, even they have some standards.

  25. Nato

    Yet more evidence that political Labor is as bad as the industrial wing is good. The corporate jobs are safe with the Australian Lawyers Party. Blue collar jobs are lost.
    It’s a dark day for Aussies who want to actually DO something, instead of hitting Enter on reports or have meetings.

  26. Kaboom

    Jeez, I can remember buying my smokes at the local PHARMACY

  27. Kaboom

    Sorry, premature closure there. I purchased smokes at the local Pharmacy in 1984.

    In Grade 12, my Modern History teacher chain-smoked in class. 1977.

    Fucking nanny-state…

  28. Dave Wane

    Yet another (of so many) examples of governments sticking their inexperienced “beaks” into the market place. Whether the “fire-prevention” nonsense, which apparently was a major consideration in Phillip Morris’s decision, or the crazy plain-packaging legislation – which may still be overturned internationally, it matters little. The carbon tax, the mining tax, alco-pops, media controls…..the list of unnecessary wealth-destroying, productivity-killing, freedom-stifling crap these people come up with knows no bounds. As for Plibersek: I think she wants Shorten’s job and despite her far-left philosophy, seems determined to present herself as “middle-of-the-road” perso and therefore more acceptable to the electorate. But finally, imagine the noise coming from Plibersek and Labor if Abbott (perish the thought) had mad some crazy nanny-state law that caused a business to close and re-locate overseas?

  29. David Black

    If plain packaging was pointless, why did the cancer-peddlers and the crooked journalists in their pockets campaign so vigorously against it?

  30. will

    If plain packaging was pointless, why did the cancer-peddlers and the crooked journalists in their pockets campaign so vigorously against it?

    ?

    maybe because it was pointless, in terms of reducing smoking, and the Liars party lied about it.

    maybe because it infringes their intellectual property rights, which Liar party governments seem willing to remove without compensation and arbitarily.

  31. Tas

    Speaking of illegal cigs ……. I walk 50 metres from work give the Asian gentleman a nod and “Voila” ……

  32. Anne

    Habib
    #1254836, posted on April 6, 2014 at 5:27 pm
    She really is a loathesome creature, a perfect example of much, if not all that’s wrong with the modern ALP, and why they should be kept off the treasury benches whenever possible.

    Why is it, the further to the left a politician leans, the nastier and more vicious they become?

  33. Snoopy

    AFAIK, no they do not need to meet the same regulations that Australian-made ciggies are required to.

    I guess that confirms that the loss of Phillip Morris is just ‘bad luck’.

  34. will

    Why is it, the further to the left a politician leans, the nastier and more vicious they become?

    Their politics is driven by hate, envy and victimhood.

  35. thefrollickingmole

    Well if ‘Berzerk is all about health then she must be in favor of vaporizers as a far, far healthier alternative right??
    Right?

    Why don’t Australian vendors sell liquid
    containing nicotine?
    Unlike America and the UK, Australia restricts
    the sale of nicotine to smoking tobacco, veterinary
    usage and approved therapeutic products.
    Such approval is extremely expensive and largely
    unnessary given what we know so far, especially
    since PV’s are meant as a replacement to smoking
    rather than a cessation method. For the time being
    vapers must import their nicotine from overseas.

    What are the advantages of
    vaping over smoking?
    Image courtesy of Vapestick.co.uk
    - Completely smoke free – nothing is burned.
    - No combustion means none of the 4000-10,000
    chemicals reported to be contained in smoke.
    - No Tar, no Carbon Monoxide, no ash
    - No air pollution and no residual smell
    - No dirty butts to dispose of
    - Delivers optional vaporized nicotine
    - Available in any flavor you can imagine
    - No harm found in the mist
    - A safer alternative to smoking

  36. Dan

    I miss the fags stuffed with saltpetre.

  37. Snoopy

    Mole, the vaporizer makers should bring out an injectible version. Plibersek would be all over it.

  38. JohnA

    Hang on!!

    What do those regulations mean?

    How Orwellian is this Newspeak: “smokes without fire!!”

    And what kind of hypocrisy to have a State ALP Opposition scream at the State Coalition government about the loss of jobs, when the anti-smoking campaigns enjoy the support of the entire House?

    If people stop smoking, the tobacco industry closes down. Isn’t that what you were expecting, dummies?

  39. jupes

    As bad as she may be she is not a patch on Sarah 2-dads or tubby Milne.

    Nope. Three peas in a pod.

  40. lem

    I imagine making electronic devices to safely (I presume) administer nicotine would be one of those kind of industries that might employ a l lot of people. In Asia.

  41. Rob MW

    “As bad as she may be she is not a patch on Sarah 2-dads or tubby Milne.”

    That depends on which side of the rank-moron fence one interprets this freakish sideshow.

  42. john constantine

    the abc fact check department could put this on its list,alongside the checking of plibachecks claims that abbott lied about spc not needing taxpayers dollars,and checking plibachecks claims that the goulbourn valley would shut down,losing thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue.remember not so long ago,the devastation of the goulbourn valley was the abc hammer of the day to smite the abbott beast,and the abc swung it hard. all lies,as it turns out.

    sounds of silence,abc fact checking department?.

  43. Baldrick

    The likelihood of a cigarette butt starting a bushfire is about the same as a piece of glass magnifying the suns rays and igniting a fire … ie: just about impossible. Cigarette butts thrown from car windows do not start bushfires. It’s one of the biggest myths around.

  44. Tintarella di Luna

    I heard the wet-voiced Slovenian hag delighted at the loss of jobs if it meant more people were smoking less.
    Well-said by the well-heeled I’m that comforted the 180 workers and their families.

  45. Gab

    I heard the wet-voiced Slovenian hag delighted at the loss of jobs if it meant more people were smoking less.
    Well-said by the well-heeled I’m that comforted the 180 workers and their families.

    She;s the one married to the convicted drug dealer, yeah? Hypocrite that she is.

  46. Splatacrobat

    Will the Korean lungsters be ‘fire resistant’? Are any imported smokes ‘fire resistant’?

    The same might be said with BP closing their “uncompetitive” clean fuel refinery in Brisbane.
    They went down the road of trying to may a more environmentally friendly product and priced themselves out of the market.

    BOC has opened the southern hemisphere’s largest hydrogen plant at Bulwer Island, Brisbane, Australia, as part of an AUS$170 million (

    The hydrogen plant, which forms part of a larger facility providing a range of industrial gases and utilities, was built to serve BP’s new hydrocracker, which produces cleaner vehicle fuels by breaking down heavy crude oil and removing sulphur. Officially opening the AUS$500 million (�190 million approx.) Clean Fuels Project at the BP refinery today, Australian Prime Minister John Howard praised both BP and its major partner in the programme, BOC, for their environmental and technological initiatives.

    It is the first time that The BOC Group has used partial oxidation technology of the type employed at Bulwer Island. BOC says it is the cleanest hydrogen plant in Australia, while BP claims significantly improved air quality in Brisbane because of lower vehicle emissions.

    Piss $500 million against the environmental wall then close the state of art facility 14 years later and sack the workforce by blaming high costs compared to Asia. I wonder if the Asian fuel is cheaper because they refine fuel without the environmental bullshit?

  47. Splatacrobat

    There was a huge drug raid on the Gold Coast today. Over 125 people arrested. The news grab on the ABC showed a number of clips or the arrested and body searches then a policeman held up a plastic evidence bag to show the haul.

    I could only make out a crumpled pack of cigarettes and an IPhone. This is our future.

  48. Robbo

    Surely Plibersek is the last politician you would think would want to raise the subject of drugs. People in glass houses………..?

  49. sabrina

    Did Philip Morris ask the new government to change export regulations? What is the effect of the FTA with Korea? Any union involvement there?

    On a different note, the Australian Women team have just won the World T20 in an empahtic fashion defeating England, with almost 5 overs to spare! Brilliant!

  50. .

    If you were to plant tobacco in polonium 210 free soil, use a good filter and use proper curing techniques as well as add in a small amount of ornamental tobacco (which has the disease killing NaD1 molecule) and perhaps a small amount of marijuana (in a non clinical dose), you’d probably create something which actually is good for your health. What would be left to solve would be tar and hardening arteries.

    If you could tackle these problems, there would be no reason to ban, tax or control the supply of such a product.

  51. adrian

    unleash the hounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. Tintarella di Luna

    She;s the one married to the convicted drug dealer, yeah? Hypocrite that she is.

    Mark my words.It will not end well with Plibersek, not at all. What she supports publicly is not what she believes and this is her undoing. Call it God, Karma, the Universe, the Creator, call it what you like, she will pay for her perfidy — ol’ Latin proverb – the privacy of public office, the publicity of private life – there is no distinction and if there is — well that’s hypocrisy.

  53. dan

    If you were to plant tobacco in polonium 210 free soil, use a good filter and use proper curing techniques as well as add in a small amount of ornamental tobacco (which has the disease killing NaD1 molecule) and perhaps a small amount of marijuana (in a non clinical dose), you’d probably create something which actually is good for your health. What would be left to solve would be tar and hardening arteries.

    What are you basing that on? I get a controlled trial of smoking vs nonsmoking patients most weeks of my life, the critical care environment shows up the effects of smoking like you wouldn’t believe. Not that I want to ban it.

    there was a risk of igniting the thin layer of ether that clung to the floor of any hospital corridor with an operating room nearby (I am informed by much older colleagues)

    It probably says something about the lack of refurbishment of hospitals that there are still signs up stressing that flammable anaesthetics are not to be used.

  54. mizaris

    The likelihood of a cigarette butt starting a bushfire is about the same as a piece of glass magnifying the suns rays and igniting a fire … ie: just about impossible. Cigarette butts thrown from car windows do not start bushfires. It’s one of the biggest myths around.

    Not a myth – I’ve seen it happen – ciggy from a car flicked onto a dry, weedy median strip and within 5 mins the whole median strip was ablaze. Then the wind caught some bits and they managed to ignite dry bush on the other side of the road and up she went.

  55. .

    What are you basing that on? I get a controlled trial of smoking vs nonsmoking patients most weeks of my life

    Yes well. This isn’t going to prove anything with respect to the issues I brought up. All of that information is easy to find online.

    I forgot too the bizarre mix of chemicals that tobacco is treated with.

  56. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    ciggy from a car flicked onto a dry.weedy median strip

    Eyewitnesses reported a cigarette butt flicked out of a car window, into tinder dry grass at the side of the road. Helped fight the ensuing bushfire, and helped a distressed and weeping farmer shoot a hundred or so ewes too badly burned to survive. It MAY be just about impossible, but it does happem

  57. CatAttack

    I don’t care what people ingest, inhale or insert but if you are going to smoke can you put your butts into a fcken bin. Or take them home with you.

    Outside my place of employment the gardens are littered with literally 1000s of butts. It’s not a good look. Would they mind if I went to their place and threw some used condoms or Maccas cartons on their garden.

  58. Anthony

    I’m 69 years old and stopped smoking 8 years ago when I became ill with congestive heart failure. Conditioned by exposure to the anti-smoking brigade’s ceaseless propaganda, I thought my many years of smoking were the cause. I believed all of that shit about smoking and heart disease. I felt really pissed off when the cardiologist told me that my condition wasn’t caused by the smokes but more possibly because of all the beer I used to drink, or, failing that, none of the above. Really, these days you can’t trust anyone.

  59. David

    threw some used condoms or Maccas cartons on their garden

    It would probably be “nicer” if you kept your screwing and eating residue to yourself CA. Much better for the environment.

    :-)

  60. Splatacrobat

    Outside my place of employment the gardens are littered with literally 1000s of butts.

    A bumper crop hey?

  61. Splatacrobat

    I used to smoke 60 cigarettes a day but since I lost one lung I cut my smoking in half.
    Cheech and Chong gag from the 70′s

  62. sabrina

    Worldwide BP has closed 13 refineries, partly as a consequence of the Deepwater Horizon spill in Mexico. they spelt out the other reasons, increased competition from Asia.
    Talking about JWH and his taxpayer money of $500 million in 1996/97 for the so-called Low Emission Technology Development Fund (LETDF) – what was achieved with this large amount?

  63. JohnA

    Baldrick #1254993, posted on April 6, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    The likelihood of a cigarette butt starting a bushfire is about the same as a piece of glass magnifying the suns rays and igniting a fire … ie: just about impossible. Cigarette butts thrown from car windows do not start bushfires. It’s one of the biggest myths around.

    About as likely as lightning, eh?

  64. Jazza

    Their Tanya is a real nasty mean mouthed lightweight.
    I don’t think much of Shorten’s personal character or abilities, but if she ever can roll him or get the Godfather’s nod somehow, we might even have to revise our thinking that Gillard was the worst PM and event for Australia in our history!

  65. GC

    Anyone notice how the Member for Sydney has been so silent on the sale of The Rocks Housing Commission properties …… what irony that her partner Coutts-Trotter is the man responsible for the sale. Ordinarily, she would be screeching from the roof tops about such treatment of the less fortunate. Anyway, let’s hope he’s more successful selling real estate than his other previous salesman career where he got caught red-handed.

  66. john constantine

    lot of people have died from getting home from the pub blotto,having one last durrie in bed,passing out,and having the sheets catch fire from the half smoked ciggie.[mind you i know blokes that have passed out on the kitchen floor with bacon and eggs in the pan for an after pub feed,and burnt the house down that way too.]

    how nanny do you have to get?.

  67. john constantine

    the old saliva soaked rollie dog end seems the safest of all durrie butts—should they be subsidised,nanny state?.

  68. feelthebern

    The chop chop trade is alive & booming.
    Go into the suburbs of Sydney & you’ll unbranded, untaxed cigarettes being sold from newsagents everywhere.
    This is lining bikey gangs pockets more than the speed trade is.
    Hats of to Roxon.
    She gave them the biggest hand up ever.
    Simply one of the worst people to ever sit in the parliament.

  69. David Black

    I acknowledge the great work smokers do in keeping the economy afloat with their voluntary taxation; but they have to acknowledge that there has to be some degree of government control over an industry which causes the deaths of many thousands of Australians every year.
    Initiatives like plain packaging and smoke-free restaurants have made life better for everyone over the last generation, while not seriously limiting smokers’ insane desire to pump themselves full of dangerous chemicals.
    You can fulmine over the “nanny-state” as much as you like; but smoking will continue to be regulated.

  70. Up The Workers!

    Perhaps the 180 newly-redundant Phillip Morris employees whose loss of livelihoods, Tanya Coutts-Trotter is so ecstatic about, could all find employment selling heroin?

    In the A.L.P., THAT specific type of work experience has been known for a fact, to lead on to becoming the Director-General of the Department of Education!

  71. Pete of Perth

    I wish she would lose her job.

  72. ugh

    “Not a myth – I’ve seen it happen”

    Point taken @mizaris (and @Zulu Kilo Two Alpha) but those fires would have still happened with the new fire-resistant Australian cigarettes (they may have even been those types of ciggies) – they don’t extinguish in nanoseconds, and would still be burning when they hit the tinder.

  73. Blair

    David Black
    #1254926, posted on April 6, 2014 at 7:03 pm
    “If plain packaging was pointless, why did the cancer-peddlers and the crooked journalists in their pockets campaign so vigorously against it?”
    Non-price competition in an oligopolistic market is a lot more stable and profitable than price competition. Brand loyalty is an essential part of non-price competition , hence the ” cancer-peddlers ” opposition to plain packaging. How a non-smoker could be induced to take up smoking because of the label on a cigarette package escapes me.

  74. dan

    I’m 69 years old and stopped smoking 8 years ago when I became ill with congestive heart failure. Conditioned by exposure to the anti-smoking brigade’s ceaseless propaganda, I thought my many years of smoking were the cause. I believed all of that shit about smoking and heart disease. I felt really pissed off when the cardiologist told me that my condition wasn’t caused by the smokes but more possibly because of all the beer I used to drink, or, failing that, none of the above. Really, these days you can’t trust anyone.

    Maybe your cardiologist was drunk too. Heavy smoking causes ischaemic cardiomyopathy, heavy drinking causes alcoholic cardiomyopathy. Assuming you didn’t start smoking again some of your risks would be returning to baseline.

  75. Petros

    The Europeans still keep smokes cheap. They know how to reduce the aged pension burden. Feel free to smoke I say. Hooch too.

  76. Judith, It strikes me that you were pretty much “jumping for joy” yourself at the loss of Holden jobs on Four Corners tonight.

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