February 18, 2018

McGowan Government plan to target cheap alcohol

McGowan Government’s plans to put a floor price on alcohol and selectively restrict the operations of liquor retail outlets in WA highlights the hypocrisy of the Government’s alcohol policies, according to Shadow Racing and Gaming Minister John McGrath.

Premier Mark McGowan this week announced he would be ease restrictions on the service of alcohol in small bars, while two days later backbencher Lisa Baker went to the media and said the Government would restrict the sale of cheap alcohol.

“This tells us the McGowan Government has one rule for people who can afford to drink in small bars and another for people who can only afford to purchase their alcohol from a retail outlet and drink at home,” Mr McGrath said.

“Research indicates there is no link between an increased availability of alcohol and an increase in alcohol-related harms but research does show that targeted public health education programs can reduce the amount of alcohol people consume.

“Research funded by the former Government found that its public health campaigns were resulting in less young people drinking and less of those who chose to drink drinking dangerously.

“The Premier should be making sure there is adequate funding for public health education rather than syphoning money out of the public purse into the vote-buying Local Project Local Jobs slush fund for things like a chihuahua rescue group.”

Mr McGrath said inconsistency was the only consistency in the McGowan Government’s policy on alcohol.

“We have footy fans only allowed to drink half-strength beer at the Stadium but UFC fight able to get full-strength alcohol at Perth arena from 6.30am on a Sunday,” Mr McGrath said.

“And now we have the Premier spruiking the benefits of relaxing restrictions on the sale of alcohol in small bars but he’s nowhere to be seen when a backbencher tells the media the Government is going to reduce the availability of cheap alcohol.”

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