September 20,2017

Minimum price for alcohol a red-tape impost for businesses

Health Minister Roger Cook’s comments that the McGowan Government will investigate putting a floor on the price of alcohol was probably news to many in his own party as well as the public, according to Opposition Leader Mike Nahan.

“This appears to be a thought bubble from the Minister with no supporting research or even a supporting media statement from his Government,” Dr Nahan said.

“If the Minister can show empirical evidence that putting a minimum retail price on alcohol in Western Australia will impact the rate of problem drinking, we will examine that evidence and consider any proposals based on that evidence.

“In a society where the vast majority of people drink responsibly and enjoy the benefits of being able to purchase reasonably priced alcohol this will be another cost impost on household by the McGowan Government and a further red tape burden on businesses.”

Dr Nahan said unless such a regulation could be monitored and enforced it could also disadvantage WA liquor retailers.

“For instance, would it be possible to purchase from an interstate company, that had no retail outlet but simply distribution network in Western Australia?” Dr Nahan said.

“Can we expect that fast food will be the next commodity in the Health Minister’s sights? Will there be a minimum burger price to prevent obesity?

“This is another red-tape measure from a Government that is making an art form of strangling small businesses and removing personal freedoms.”