AUSTRALIA should reduce trading hours for clubs and pubs, raise the minimum age for buying alcohol and review the number of places that sell booze, an expert says.
Centre for Alcohol Policy Research director Professor Robin Room, who is speaking at a national Cancer Council conference in Adelaide on Thursday, said he believed Australia needed to introduce sweeping alcohol law changes to curb alcohol consumption and associated health problems.
He said both state and federal governments needed to be doing more to address alcohol-related problems across the country.
“When it comes to alcohol policy in Australia, what is politically feasible is often ineffective, while what is effective is often politically difficult,” he said.
“They (politicians) do symbolic things … it’s not going to really have any effect but it looks like they’re doing something.”
“If I buy an expensive bottle of wine, I’m actually paying a lot of tax, but for cheap wine, I’m paying very little tax,” he said.
“Cheap wine is cheaper than bottled water – that is the first thing that needs fixing.”
Changing the opening hours of clubs and pubs and limiting the number of licensed venues across the country was another way Prof Room believed would curb the rising incidence of heavy drinking in Australia…Read more