Australians’ drinking behaviour gets 10-year tick of approval in Federal Government Report Card

Australians’ drinking behaviour got a 10-year tick of approval today with the release of the Federal Government’s Report Card on Australian Health showing a continuation of long term positive trends in all the major indicators associated with alcohol consumption.

The favourable trends reaffirm Australians are drinking more responsibly than ever before, and underline the success of targeted Government alcohol policy around intervention and prevention, and effective and successful industry measures like education campaigns to promote sensible and moderate drinking.

Alcohol Beverages Australia Executive Director Fergus Taylor welcomed the Report Card saying it shows Australians are getting the message that moderate alcohol consumption can be part of a happy and healthy lifestyle.

“The vast majority of Australians consume alcohol responsibly and it is pleasing to see these important trends are continuing to improve,” he said.

“The industry is committed to the promotion of responsible and moderate drinking and today’s result is a comprehensive and independent acknowledgment that we’re on the right track.”

“We are seeing more and more people opt for quality over quantity when it comes to drinking and socialising, and the continued growth of Australia’s unique food and entertainment cultures is also contributing to more moderate and sensible drinking behaviour.”

Mr Taylor acknowledged there are still areas that need to be focused on and said the industry was committed to working with Governments and stakeholders to ensure solutions continue to be targeted at these groups.

“Where problem areas have been identified, the solutions should be localised and targeted to address alcohol-related harms directly, whether that be through education, intervention and support services, responsible marketing and service or local liquor accords.”

The report was underpinned by the most recent National Household Drug Survey data which showed drinking behaviours across key demographics were continuing to improve.

Drinking Behaviours 2013 2016
Drank alcohol daily (14 years and over) 6.5% 5.9%
Drank alcohol weekly (14 years and over) 37.3% 35.8%
Drank alcohol less often than weekly (14 years and over) 34.5% 35.8%
Abstained from alcohol (12–17 years) 72.3% 81.5%
Age when had first full serve of alcohol (14–24 years) 15.7 years 16.1 years
Exceeded lifetime risk guidelines (14 years and over) 18.2% 17.1%

Source: Australia’s Health 2018


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