RACP calls on all parties to commit to protecting minimum unit alcohol pricing in the NT
August 12, 2020
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians is urging the leaders of all parties to commit to protecting minimum unit alcohol pricing in the next term of the NT Parliament.
RACP Northern Territory spokesperson, Dr Richard Budd said “This policy is the first of its kind and has been one of the most successful health measures undertaken by the current Government, and we are urging all parties to publicly commit to retaining this regulation in the next term of Parliament.
“Minimum unit alcohol pricing has made a significant impact in reducing the amount of alcohol related harms in the Northern Territory – but we can’t be complacent.
“We must continue to reduce the alcohol disease burden within the Northern Territory community by keeping these pricing measures in place.
“Evidence shows that reducing the availability of cheap alcohol through a minimum unit price decreases the harm associated with alcohol use.
“Alcohol is by far the most harmful drug in Australia, with over a quarter of Australians consuming alcohol at damaging levels at least once a month.
“There are benefits for minimum unit pricing on alcohol in every state and territory in Australia – but particularly the Northern Territory which has the largest disease burden caused by alcohol in the country (8.5 per cent).
A recent report into the Northern Territory minimum unit alcohol pricing, which has been in place since 1 October 2018 found there was:
- a 23 per cent reduction in alcohol related assaults across the Territory in 2018/19 compared to the same period in 2017/18
- a 17.3 per cent reduction in alcohol related emergency department presentations in 2018/19 compared to the same period in 2017/18.
“Minimum unit alcohol pricing in the Northern Territory has been successful in reducing alcohol related harms. It’s no surprise that other Australian states are watching its progress with a close interest.
“In the lead up to the election, we are calling on all parties to publicly commit to maintaining this important regulation in the next term of Parliament.”