Goodwin Steps Up Where Hodgman Has Failed Fri 24 August 2012 Michelle O'Byrne Minister for Health The Minister for Health, Michelle O'Byrne, today said Liberal MLC Vanessa Goodwin had the opportunity to show some much-needed leadership in the Liberal Party and take a stand against accepting tobacco donations. Ms O'Byrne issued a challenge to Dr Goodwin to make ending the Liberal Party's continued acceptance of political donations from cigarette companies her goal ahead of this weekend's Liberal Party State Conference. "Dr Goodwin spoke out strongly against tobacco this week when the Upper House passed a motion for Tasmania to increasingly restrict access to tobacco products and support the creation of a smoke-free generation. "Speaking to the motion, Dr Goodwin said: 'When you consider the health costs to the community associated with tobacco-smoking . . . I have some figures that it is about $900 million a year to Tasmania. Then if you think about 500 Tasmanians dying each year as a result of their habit, they are very sobering statistics.' "She went on to say: 'It is a frightening thought that there are children out there who are taking up this habit . . . I agree that we have to do everything that we can to prevent people from taking up smoking.' "Dr Goodwin must make good on her stand. "The Liberal Party accepted more than $40,000 in donations from cigarette companies last year - now is her opportunity to take action within her own party and send a clear message that the Liberals understand the harm and cost cigarettes have on our community. "Will Hodgman has failed on this issue. His weak leadership has seen the Liberal Party happily pocket the profits of cigarette sales while at the same time arguing more should be done in health. "With tobacco donations rolling in to the Liberal Party's bank account, not once have we seen Mr Hodgman deliver a policy aimed at reducing smoking. "Dr Goodwin must demonstrate that her passionate speech actually meant something and she will move to end the Liberal Party's acceptance of tobacco donations this weekend. "The Liberals cannot continue accepting these donations - they must do the right thing and put a stop to big tobacco's payments," Ms O'Byrne said.