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The proposed concept of plain packaging has caught momentum among the opposition party members. It has been reported that big tobacco companies have geared to fight against the Federal Government. It has come to light that the British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) has asked for legal advice over the plain packaging of cigarettes.
The BATA is waiting for its hearing which will be held in the Melbourne Court. However, it has come to light that the government has refused to provide any legal advice to BATA. Neglecting the plea of BATA, the Federal Government announced to introduce the plain packaging in Australia in the month of July.
It seems like BATA is not going to give up. It has been reported that BATA has been trying to gain access to government’s legal advice on the issue dating back to the mid-1990s through freedom of information laws. Moreover, the lawyers of BATA have informed that the Government is using illegal means to stop BATA from acquiring the legal advice.
It has been informed by the lawyers that the document that they are seeking contains information which could raise questions over plain packaging. They are of the opinion that the plain packaging does not comply with international trade and tariff obligations.