The final report of the WA Government’s Sustainable Health Review has recommended following the Northern Territory and introducing a minimum floor price across the State.
If it adopts NT’s unit price of $1.30 per standard drink, the cheapest bottle of wine in WA would rise to about $10.
Health Minister Roger Cook said there had already been big decreases in alcohol-related hospital visits and crime in the NT since a minimum floor price was introduced there.
“Ultimately WA is going to have to come to a reckoning around the level of alcohol consumption and abuse,” he said.
“This report puts a range of challenges to government and the community generally around alcohol consumption and we have to be ready to accept those challenges.”
Australian Medical Association WA president Omar Khorshid has called on the WA Government to implement the policy immediately.
“We know this measure targets high-level drinking, it doesn’t target safe drinking,” he told the West Australian.
Liquor Stores Association of WA chief executive Peter Peck said minimum pricing was a band-aid measure.
“For problem drinkers who self-medicate you just push them on to a different substance, like in Kalgoorlie where methylated spirits with orange juice is the drink of the day, or on to meth,” he said.
Scots are drinking more despite minimum pricing
Analysis by Nielsen has found Scottish consumers have bought more alcohol since minimum floor price laws were introduced.
The tougher rules came into force last May after the Scottish government won a protracted court battle.
Nielsen found that during the 46 weeks leading up to March 29, Scots bought 203.5 million litres, 1.8 million more compared to the same period in 2017-18.
The extra alcohol consumed amounted to the equivalent of four million cans of lager or 2.5 million bottles of wine.