Alliance of Australian Retailers

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Twenty-pound-notes.jpg This article is part of the Lobbying Portal, a sunlight project from Spinwatch.

The Alliance of Australian Retailers is a front-group funded by the big three tobacco companies. [1] It was formed to fight the Australian Federal Government's plans to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products.

Activities and Views

The Alliance argues there is little evidence to support plain packaging of tobacco:

The Australian Federal Government has proposed that all tobacco products be sold in plain packets no later than July 2012. No matter which brand or type of cigarette, all packets will look the same. The Federal Government claims that plain packaging will help smokers quit or prevent people from taking up smoking, but they have provided no real evidence that plain packaging will work.
The Federal Government’s determination to go ahead with this policy shows they are not listening to small business throughout Australia. This is just the latest example of a policy that won’t work but that will hurt thousands of small businesses.
We draw the line at Government proposals which, like the Alcopops tax, haven't been thought through, won't work, and will have negative consequences for small businesses.
That's why the Alliance of Australian Retailers has come together to make the voices of small retailers heard, and to oppose plain packaging until it is overturned[2]

It also argues that:

  • Plain packaging will create unnecessary confusion for retailers and inconvenience for customers
  • Plain packaging will cost small retailers money we can't afford
  • Plain packaging is likely to further increase illicit tobacco trading, making cigarettes more accessible to teenagers [3]



In June 2011 it was reported that Tony Barry, the former press secretary of a leading Australian Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull was believed to be earning more than $20,000 a month lobbying Liberal MPs and crossbenchers against the tobacco reforms. Barry was working for the Alliance of Australian Retailers.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag


The Alliance of Australian Retailers together with its member associations represents approximately 15,000 small retailers across Australia. The Alliance of Australian Retailers is comprised of:

  • The Australian Newsagents' Federation Ltd (ANF)
  • The National Independent Retailers Association (NIRA)
  • Service Station Association Pty Ltd (SSA)

Publications, Contact, Resources and Notes






  1. Melissa Fyfe, Former Turnbull adviser heads tobacco laws fight, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 June 2011.
  2. Plain packaging just doesn't make sense, accessed 8 June 2011
  3. Why we are concerned, Alliance of Australian Retailers website, accessed 8 June 2011