Doctors welcome alcohol reforms in the Northern Territory

alcohol 2The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) welcomes the NT Government’s in-principle support for measures that will reduce alcohol-related harms in the community.

The reforms include harm reduction measures such as introducing a floor price on alcohol products and addressing the density of liquor licences and volume of alcohol sales.

“These are bold and evidenced-based measures that will help combat alcohol abuse in the community and will encourage a healthier approach to alcohol use and supply in the Territory,” RACP President Dr Catherine Yelland said.

“We commend the NT Government on considering a floor price on alcoholic drinks to reduce the availability of cheap alcohol.

“Cheap alcohol is a significant source of alcohol abuse and causes an enormous amount of damage particularly among high risk groups and young Australians.

“Outlet density is another measure that can lower levels of risky drinking. Evidence suggests that the number of liquor outlets and licensed venues in an area correlates with high risk drinking and teenage binge drinking.

“We really encourage the Government to ban alcohol advertising on its public transport, following the example of the ACT, SA and WA who have all taken steps towards prohibiting alcohol advertising on public transport infrastructure.”

Dr Yelland said she hopes both the NT and Commonwealth Governments remain committed to ensuring alcohol treatment services are adequately funded.

“Alcohol and drug treatment services must be properly funded regardless of whether they are provided in a major city or remote community,” Dr Yelland said.

“We need to see a greater investment in the services that will help rehabilitate people who are alcohol dependent and help them live healthier lives.”
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