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   paac people’s alcohol action coalition


What Works is What We Want

PAAC’s aim is the reduction of alcohol consumption in the NT and the related harm, such as illness, injury and death, and criminal offending including domestic and family violence. 

PAAC has campaigned for many years for reducing the impact of alcohol-related harm through a number of strategies, including developing constructive reforms to the sale of alcohol.

Why a Minimum Unit Price or ‘Floor Price?’


Alcohol consumption in the NT  has fallen considerably since 2008 , but at 11.85  litres of pure alcohol a year for each person aged 15 years and over, is still higher than the national level of 9.7 litres.

One of the evidence-based changes PAAC wants is the introduction of a Minimum Unit Price, also known as a Floor Price. Pricing is very relevant, as problem drinkers tend to buy the cheapest grog available. When price is adjusted to get rid of super-cheap products, as has happened in several Canadian Provinces for example ,these drinkers get less pure alcohol for their dollar, and there is a reduction in alcohol-related illness and death.

A floor price set at the price of full-strength beer in the NT – currently around $1.50 a standard drink (10 grams of alcohol) – would not affect most people, as they drink responsibly, but would affect many who drink to harmful levels. This paper by FARE – the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Educationexplains more.

The UK Supreme Court has recently cleared the way for the Scottish Parliament to implement pricing legislation, after several years of opposition from the liquor industry The Court also noted that  “… hazardous and harmful drinkers in poverty are involved in far more alcohol-related deaths and hospital admissions than those not in poverty.”

Where are we up to with alcohol reform in the NT?
Alcohol reform is not a one-trick pony. Pricing is not the only issue.

In 2017, the Northern Territory Labor Government implemented a review of alcohol policy and legislation, with an Expert Panel headed by retired Chief Justice Trevor Riley. The Panel has made more than two hundred recommendations, all of which the NT Government has accepted, bar one.

The Panel also noted that the Northern Territory continues to have the highest rates of:

  • alcohol related deaths
  • alcohol-related burdens of disease
  • single occasion risky drinking behaviours
  • lifetime risky drinking behaviours

The Riley Review did recommend a Floor Price, and said it should be evaluated after three years. PAAC supports the rigorous evaluation of all measures introduced to reduce consumption and related harm. 

You can read PAAC’s submission to the Riley Review here

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