The new alcohol floor price begins today, designed to tackle alcohol related violence and crime by targeting problem drinkers.
The case for tackling alcohol abuse:
- Territorians drink more than anyone else in Australia per capita, and are among the highest in the world.
- Data from 2009 shows that alcohol related violence and crime is costing Territorians upwards of $640 million a year. That’s about $4197 per adult, compared with $943 nationally.
- The Territory has the highest rates of hospitalisations related to alcohol abuse in Australia
- 40% of all Territory road fatalities involve an illegal blood alcohol concentration.
The floor price is just one of the 219 recommendations from the Riley Review, designed to tackle alcohol related violence and crime stemming from alcohol abuse.
Health Minister Natasha Fyles said: “The NT Government is creating safer communities by introducing some of the most signification alcohol reforms in the Territory’s history
“There is simply too much alcohol fuelled crime, anti-social behaviour and social dysfunction in the Northern Territory.
“Floor price legislation targets cheap bulk alcohol favoured by at-risk drinkers, without punishing those of us who enjoy a drink responsibly.
“This means that a standard drink cannot be cheaper than $1.30. Products that will see a price increase will be cheap, high alcohol content cask, bottled, and fortified wine.
“In order to ensure bottle shops don’t increase the vast majority products that already meet the floor price, we have informed consumer affairs to keep a close watch on price changes as this initiative rolls out.
“The majority of Territorians enjoy a drink responsibly, but there are many in the Territory whose abuse of alcohol is hurting our community, it’s hurting our businesses and it’s destroying individuals and families.”
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation has congratulated the NT Government on becoming Australia’s first jurisdiction to introduce a minimum floor price for alcohol.
From today, a standard alcoholic drink across the Northern Territory will cost at least $1.30.
Chief executive officer Dr Erin Lalor says the Northern Territory Government has shown leadership by recognising the strong link between price, alcohol consumption and related harms such as violence and ill-health.
“A minimum floor price for alcohol will play an important role in helping to reduce problematic drinking and its related harms among the Northern Territory’s heaviest and youngest drinkers, whilst having little impact on cost for moderate drinkers,” Dr Lalor said.
“I commend the Northern Territory Government for taking the steps towards a healthier and safer community,” Dr Lalor added.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation is calling on other jurisdictions across Australia to follow the lead of the Northern Territory.
“Price is a major determinant of people’s drinking. We know that when the cost of alcohol goes up, the heaviest drinkers consume less,” Dr Lalor said.
“Evidence from overseas shows that introducing a minimum floor price for alcohol is an effective way to reduce the public health burden associated with problematic drinking,” Dr Lalor added.