ADF keeps calling for a minimum unit price on alcohol
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) has repeated its calls for all Australian states and territories to follow the lead of the Northern Territory and introduce a minimum unit price on alcohol.
An independent report released late last month found the implementation of a minimum unit price on alcohol in the Northern Territory had been associated with significant reductions in alcohol-related assaults, ambulance attendances, emergency department presentations, road crashes and child protection notifications.
“This responsible legislation has complemented other harm reduction initiatives in the Northern Territory and is helping to build a healthier and safer community,” ADF chief executive officer Dr Erin Lalor said.
“The legislation, alongside other measures, is doing what it intended, which is to reduce harmful alcohol consumption.”
Since a minimum unit price on alcohol was introduced in the Northern Territory in October 2018, a standard alcoholic drink cannot be legally sold for under $1.30.
“The Northern Territory Government has shown leadership in recognising the strong link between price, alcohol consumption and related harms such as accidents, injuries, violence and ill-health,” Dr Lalor said.
The ADF is urging all states and territories to introduce a minimum unit price on alcohol to address key priorities identified in the National Alcohol Strategy, released by the federal government in December.
“Implementing a range of evidence-based measures, including a minimum unit price on alcohol, would make a big difference in reducing harmful alcohol consumption and improving the health and safety of Australians,” Dr Lalor said.
Cancer Council Victoria has supported reforms to alcohol pricing since at least 2016, and chief executive officer Todd Harper said increasing the price of cheap alcohol was one of the most effective ways to reduce alcohol-related harms, including cancer. “Heavy alcohol consumption is responsible for major harms in our community, including cancer of the mouth and throat, bowel in men and breast in women.
“Each year, 3,000 cases of cancer in Australia are attributed to the long-term consumption of alcohol.
“When alcohol prices are increased through taxation, consumers drink less, and reduce their risk of developing certain types of cancer.”
For free and confidential drug information or support, the ADF encourages people to head to adf.org.au or phone the DrugInfo line on 1300 85 85 84.