ALSA says Floor Price not the Answer

20 June, 2011 by

By Amy Looker

Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) chief executive officer, Terry Mott, has described the suggested strategy to introduce a floor price on alcohol as an overly-simplistic approach based on unproven theories to reduce alcohol misuse and harm.

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Mott told TheShout that the proposal would penalise and inconvenience both retailers and consumers, following indication from Health Minister Nicola Roxon that she plans to investigate the feasibility of a nation wide floor price on alcohol that would impact on cask wine sales.

“While there are some strong advocates for this, including several involved in health advocacy and policy making in the Northern Territory, who have been campaigning on this subject for many years – the reason it has not been done is that it is an overly-simplistic approach,” said Mott.

“It was also not recommended by the Preventative Health Taskforce as a strategy in isolation. There is no evidence that it will work to reduce harms in those at risk, nor would it be simple to implement.”

Mott said a program being trialled in the Northern Territory which uses photo ID technology to identify problem drinkers had a greater chance of success.

“The NT Government is currently introducing new photo ID technology across the Territory in an attempt to target those individuals who are abusing alcohol," he said.

"That initiative represents a significant investment by the NT government and stands a chance of helping to identify those at risk, also to reinforce individual responsibility and that should be given an opportunity to see if it works.”