Parkes electorate amongst worst for illegal tobacco

Compiled by Dominic Geiger

The Federal seat of Parkes has recently been ranked twelfth in terms of illegal tobacco sold in Australia following a British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) commissioned Deloitte report.

The report showed that over 26,000 kilograms of illegal tobacco was sold in the Parkes electorate last year which in turn cost taxpayers over $10 million in lost tobacco excise.

Mark Coulton, who currently holds the seat of Parkes, said although he doesn’t dispute the findings, they do surprise him.

“[Prior to seeing this report], I had no knowledge this was occurring,” he said.

“26,000 kilograms is a lot of cigarettes.

“No members of the community or police have ever mentioned anything about any illegal tobacco in Parkes.”

A spokesperson for BATA said in addition to the Deloitte report, BATA worked closely with state and federal police to verify the figures.

Parkes was one of the few rural electorates ranked in the top twenty for illegal tobacco in the country, with the majority of high ranking electorates being in metropolitan areas.

British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) CEO, David Crow is concerned that illegal tobacco sales will only get worse in the Parkes electorate under the unprecedented plain packaging legislation.

“The illegal tobacco black market has grown 150% over the last three years and plain packaging will only fan the flames and allow criminals to profit further,” Mr Crow said.

“The Government needs to do more to stop organised crime gangs dealing in black market tobacco across our suburbs.”

BATA has developed a website which outlines the size and scope of illegal tobacco in each Australian electorate.

The website,, ranks all electorates in the country, shows the excise lost and the amount of illegal tobacco sold in each area as well as further information on the issue.


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