Beer and wine drinkers are outraged at a new ‘floor price’ on alcohol purchases in some parts of Australia.
The floor price was introduced on October 1 and states that every standard drink must cost at least $1.30, in a bid to reduce alcohol-related harm in the community.
Northern Territory is the first state in Australia to introduce the new pricing, which means that a 750ml bottle of wine – containing approximately 7.7 standard drinks – cannot be sold for less than $10.01.
Beer and wine drinkers are outraged at a new ‘floor price’ which has been added to alcohol in some parts of Australia, meaning bottles of wine cannot legally be sold for less than $10
It also pushes the price of Australia’s famously cheap backpacker favourite ‘goon’ to a minimum of $27.82 for a 2 litre box, NT News reports.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner established the initiative following an alcohol review earlier this year that found NT had the highest per-capita rate of alcohol consumption in Australia.
The review also found that this rate was one of the highest in the world and that NT had the highest rate of hospitalisation due to alcohol misuse.
Mayor of Katherine, Fay Miller has spoken out against the controversial pricing, saying that as the ‘floor price’ only applies to wines and beer, problem drinkers are likely to just switch to liquor.
It also pushes the price of Australia’s famously cheap backpacker favourite ‘goon’ to a minimum of $27.82 for a 2 litre box
‘We’re not happy,’ she said, adding that all feedback she had heard was negative.
‘The only thing that has worked – in all the years I’ve been here, since 1989 – is the police on bottle shops.’
Mayor of Katherine, Fay Miller (pictured) has spoken out against the controversial pricing
Ms Miller also suggested that the initiative could have an impact on future tourism, although she admitted it was too early to tell.
Faye Hartley, president of the Australia Liquor Stores Association, believes that the new pricing is targeting the wrong people.
‘None of the complaints have come from the long grassers, but they are all from ordinary Territorians who are not problem drinkers,’ she said.
She called the legislation ‘just another nail in the coffin’, noting that the cost of living for the average drinker is being forced ‘up and up’.
‘The feedback is that they are not happy, “why are they getting picked on”,’ Ms Hartley said.
‘A lot are older people who are on pensions or low income and like to have an affordable wine or beer with a meal.’
However, the NT Council of Social Service (NTCOSS) has been supportive of the government’s initiative.
‘It is an unfortunate impact, but there is such a widespread alcohol problem in the Territory that the Territory as a whole has to wear the changes around alcohol pricing,’ said executive Wendy Morton.
Faye Hartley, president of the Australia Liquor Stores Association, said that the initiative was targeting the wrong people: ‘A lot are older people who are on pensions or low income and like to have an affordable wine or beer with a meal.’