Physicians urge Queensland Government to implement a floor price for alcohol to reduce harm in the community
13 August 2019
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) is urging the Queensland Government to implement a minimum floor price on alcohol in order to reduce alcohol related harm across the state.
The call comes off the back of an independent evaluation report of the Government’s Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Policy where the recommendation to implement a minimum floor price has now been rejected by the Government.
While the independent report demonstrated that current measures around trading times have reduced alcohol related violence, the report also highlighted that pre-drinking continues at alarmingly high levels, with over a third of patrons entering venues highly intoxicated.
RACP policy expert Professor Paul Colditz said “The RACP is disappointed that the Queensland Government has rejected two key recommendations that would lead to a significant drop in alcohol-related harm. These include restrictions to trading hours across all venues and a minimum floor price for alcohol.”
“The evidence is clear that restrictions on trading times and the service of alcohol reduce incidence of alcohol related harm and violence in the community.
“Setting a floor price on alcohol reduces the availability of cheap alcohol, decreasing alcohol consumption and problematic drinking patterns such as the tendency among high-risk drinkers to ‘pre-load’ before entering drinking venues..
“We know that the rates of alcohol consumption in Queensland and across Australia are contributing to a significant disease burden for individuals and our health services.
“Problematic use of alcohol contributes to the burden of 30 diseases and injuries including alcohol use disorders, eight types of cancer, chronic liver disease and 12 types of injury, predominantly road traffic injuries, suicide and self-inflicted injuries.1”
The College has also recently called for minimum alcohol pricing as part of its submission to the review of Sydney’s night-time economy.