The Queensland Coalition for Action on Alcohol (QCAA) has today repeated their calls for Queensland to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol, to improve the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders.
This call comes following the release of an independent evaluation of minimum unit pricing legislation introduced by the Northern Territory in 2018. The legislation was introduced as part of a comprehensive range of alcohol reforms, which have led to a significant reduction in alcohol related harm and crime.
While commending the life-saving Tackling Alcohol Fuelled Violence measures introduced by the Queensland Government, experts say that the Government must continue to respond to the alcohol harms that continue to impose a heavy toll on the people of Queensland.
QCAA Chairman, Emeritus Professor Jake Najman says that the results from the Northern Territory are promising and show that minimum unit pricing, as part of a suite of harm-reduction measures, is effective in improving health and wellbeing of Australians.
Findings included reductions in alcohol-related assaults, protective custody episodes, ambulance attendances and emergency department presentations, traffic crashes resulting in injury or fatality, and the number of child protection notifications.
“Minimum unit pricing is inexpensive to introduce, and is effective in reducing alcohol related harm and crime. The report released today shows that this works in an Australian context with tourism improving or remaining stable.” Emeritus Professor Najman said.
He continued, “The evidence is very clear. The most effective measures to reduce alcohol harm are the ones that address availability, promotion and price of alcohol.”
QCAA Member organisation Drug ARM supported the calls, and highlighted that alcoholic products can easily be secured for less than the price of a bottle of water or soft drink.
Chief Advocate Dr Dennis Young AM said, “More than half of Australians (59%) believe that governments should ensure that alcohol products are not sold below the price of bottled water or soft drinks.”
“With more than one third (38%) of Australians indicating they have been affected by alcohol-related violence, it is no surprise that Australians are supportive of measures that aim to reduce alcohol related harms.” Dr Young said.
The Queensland Coalition for Action on Alcohol (QCAA) is a coalition of Queensland health and community organisations committed to reducing alcohol-related harm. QCAA identifies and prioritises actions needed to reduce alcohol harms and improve the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders and ensures that these actions are raised with decision makers. www.qcaa.org.au
Drug ARM is a specialist not-for-profit, non-government organisation that supports people, families and communities to achieve positive transformation through rehabilitation and treatment, outreach, family support, awareness and prevention, information and education, and advocacy and policy. www.drugarm.com.au