Australia is considering minimum pricing

Australia is considering minimum pricing

A government-commissioned report outlining plans for a minimum price on alcohol in Australia is due to be released this month, but the measure is facing fierce industry opposition.

The Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) said today (16 October) that it will publish a"draft" report, as a follow-up to a consultation launched in June. Thirty-six responses were received to the June consultation. 

The consultation did not state a specific floor price, but local reports this week suggested it would mean the cheapest bottle of white wine would have to cost AUD8.40 (US$8.63). 

The Winemakers' Federation of Australia told the agency there was "no clear consensus" in relevant research to prove a floor price would cut alcohol harm.

Carlton & United Breweries also argued the "majority of Australians consume beer responsibly and in moderation", while a minimum price would have "little or no impact" on people who misuse alcohol.

The UK's Scotch Whisky Association, which is fighting minium pricing plans in Scotland, also formally registered its objection to the measure in Australia. It also claimed there is "no strong evidence" to suggest minimum pricing would be effective.

The ANPHA said it will seek further submissions after its new draft report is published and a "final" report will be sent to Australia's Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, in December.