Doctors support proposal to tackle alcohol-related harm

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) welcome VicHealth’s proposal to take strong action to reduce alcohol-related harm in Victoria’s community.

Proposed reforms include introducing a minimum price on alcohol, restricting bar and pub opening hours and limiting the number of bottle shops and licensed venues in areas where many already exist. It has also backed calls for the Commonwealth government to introduce a volumetric tax on wine.

“Excessive alcohol use is a major contributor to illness and deaths in Australia and we know that urgent action is needed,” said Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, President of the Chapter of Addiction Medicine at the RACP.

“The RACP is very supportive of a volumetric tax for wine – which is based on a product’s alcohol content -  and already applies to other products like beer and spirits.

“The current approach enables the sale of cheap wine which is usually purchased by young people and means that people are inclined to drink more if they can afford it.”

The RACP also supports VicHealth’s call for banning TV alcohol advertisements during sports broadcasts in children’s viewing hours.

“We support legislative measures to ban alcohol advertising at sporting events and to start phasing out alcohol sponsorship from competitions and teams across all sporting codes.

“The Victorian Government can directly influence outdoor advertising which uses government property – this includes advertising on buses, trains, bus shelters, train stations and sports stadiums.

“The strong evidence behind these reforms position them as the best possible avenues for preventing alcohol-related violence, accidents and mental illness in our community and helping Australians develop a healthier relationship with alcohol.”

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