Australians would view it as our duty to fight the harmful use of alcohol – as an industry, as producers, as retailers, and as individuals – to help improve the health of Australians and reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms and Non-Communicable Diseases. The release of the National Alcohol Strategy presents a unique opportunity for industry, governments, and concerned health bodies to work cooperatively with each other to combat harmful drinking.
Mr Andrew Wilsmore, CEO of Alcohol Beverages Australia said today “We want a culture in which our products are only consumed responsibly (by those that choose to consume them), so that drinking and selling them is always a positive experience.
“We have an obligation to promote responsible drinking, and a duty to deliver a better and more sustainable future for all.
“With all indicators of harm trending down and per capita consumption at 50-year lows, it is important that targeted solutions are favoured over population-wide measures that penalise the majority of responsible drinkers.
“The industry has done a lot of heavy lifting in improving Australia’s drinking culture, including the annual funding of multi-million dollar cultural change programs, the voluntary labelling of pregnancy warnings and standard drinks pictograms, and a wide range of targeted programs that have real-world success in changing the drinking behaviours of at-risk groups.
“The National Alcohol Strategy underscores the importance of continuing these initiatives and building on them further to help achieve the ambitious target of a 10% reduction in harmful alcohol consumption.
“While the Strategy rightly focuses on the harms associated with alcohol, it is important for Governments and policy makers to not lose sight of the fact that most Australian enjoy a drink responsibly as part of normal Australian life. When consumed responsibly, a beer, wine, spirit or cocktail helps bring people together to socialise and enjoy conviviality. It supports the livelihoods of close to 600,000 Australians, contributes $160 billion in economic output, and puts $6.1 billion in taxes into helping pay for vital Government services.
Alcohol Beverages Australia and its members look forward to partnering with State, Territory and the Commonwealth Government to help reduce harmful alcohol consumption.
Alcohol Beverages Australia
Ph: 02 8754 7000