RACP calls for incoming WA Government to undertake major alcohol law reform

March 11, 2021

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians has released its top priorities for the incoming Western Australian Government – specifically the call to undertake a major reform to the state’s alcohol laws.

RACP Spokesperson and Chair of the WA Branch for the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine, Dr Craig Connelly said “Western Australia has the second largest alcohol related disease burden in the country, and it’s one of the state’s biggest health programs that remains unaddressed.

“The incoming Government must commit to implementing a floor price on alcohol in order to begin to address the harm that is being caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

“There are benefits for minimum unit pricing on alcohol in every state and territory in Australia – but particularly WA where there is a significant alcohol disease burden.

“Evidence shows that reducing the availability of cheap alcohol through a minimum unit price decreases the harm associated with alcohol use.

“We’ve seen the positive impacts that this policy can have in the Northern Territory, where there has been a significant reduction in alcohol related assaults (23 per cent) and emergency admissions (17 per cent) since minimum unit alcohol pricing was introduced.

“Alcohol is by far one of the most harmful drugs in Australia.”

The College is also urging the incoming WA Government to invest in drug and alcohol treatment facilities and expand preventative alcohol services.

“We know the incoming Government will address many challenges in the years ahead. Alcohol harm must be one of these.”

The RACP’s election priorities are outlined in the RACP Western Australia Election Statement and also include addressing physician health and wellbeing and expanding geriatric services in WA.

Learn further information about the RACP’s election priorities

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