Treasury Wine Estates chief David Dearie is against minimum pricing plans

Treasury Wine Estates chief David Dearie is against minimum pricing plans

The boss of Treasury Wine Estates has hit out at Australia's plans for a minimum price on alcohol, claiming the measure would fail to address excessive drinking.

In a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Sydney today (29 November), David Dearie said a minimum price would hurt “the responsible majority” of wine drinkers. “Excessive consumption is an entrenched and complex issue, and a range of tools, particularly effective education programs, are required by government, industry and public health organisations if we are to successfully combat alcohol abuse,” Dearie said.

Tax reform is worth considering, he said, “however, I remain deeply concerned at attempts to penalise the responsible majority who consume wine in an appropriate and entirely sensible manner”.

Last month, the Australian Government commissioned a report outlining plans for a minimum price on alcohol in Australia. A broad group of Australian alcohol makers have criticised the plan, including the Winemakers' Federation of Australia and Carlton & United Breweries 

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

Yesterday, the UK Government launched a consultation on plans to introduce a GBP0.45 minimum price in England and Wales.