Alcohol sales in Alice dropped 12% between 2004 and 2011, but mail orders, online purchases not included


The total wholesale supply of all grog measured as pure alcohol has reduced in Alice Springs by 12% between 2004 and 2011, according to figures from the NT Department of Justice.
Beer went up slightly.
The figures do not include alcohol obtained by mail orders or online purchases obtained from interstate which, according to anecdotal evidence, are increasingly popular.
The most significant drop was in the supply of wine casks and fortified wines, coinciding with sales restrictions and price increases.
Casks rose four-fold from 34,000 litres (expressed in pure alcohol content) in 2004 to 135,000 in 2005 and 2006, but had dropped to 23,000 litres by 2011.
Fortified wines dropped from 174,045 litres in 2004 to just 781 litres in 2011, the major fall being in 2007.
Meanwhile bottled wine sales nearly doubled from 39,000 to 62,000 litres.
Since 2005, total wine sales have fallen from 42% to 19% of wholesale supply.
From 2010 to 2011, the total supply of pure alcohol including in cider (which doubled), wine, spirits and beer decreased by 4%, while the estimated residential population decreased by 1%.
Cider shows an increasing trend since 2004, growing at a compound annual rate of 9%.
Since 2008, cider supply has increased by 74%.
See also Letter to the Editor from Dr John Boffa, from PAAC.
Photo: Campaigners against alcohol abuse tipping out grog in Alice Springs in 2007.


  1. It appears that this decline in cheap wine is attributed to the voluntary accord on a floor price raising the cost of a standard drink in Alice Springs, while the NT News editorial yesterday reported a small decline in the number of cartons of beer sold in the NT.
    Apart from the good news regarding evidence of a floor price as sound alcohol management policy, neither of the two NT parties have announced that they will follow the UK, Scotland, Ireland and New Zealand in moving closer to this. It would seem a good opportunity in responsible government for either, if not both, NT parties to announce their intention to do this in the run-up to the election.
    Lest some readers think that the alcohol industry will take this laying down, they might be interested to learn that the first report of the Alcohol Advertising Review Board has just been released in which it investigated numerous public complaints into products like ‘Woodstock Bourbon Calendar Babes’, ‘Skinnygirl Cocktails’, ‘Pom Pom’ and ‘Electric Pink,’ Jim Beam and Jack Daniels’ sponsorship of V8 Supercars, Smirnoff Vodka’s sponsorship of ‘Groovin’ the Moo’ music festival and ‘Jim Beam on Campus’, all targeting young people, with inadequate warnings on their labels.
    In December 2011, Australian and New Zealand Food and Health Ministers recommended that the alcohol industry be given two years to voluntarily implement alcohol warning labels, after which time the government would move to mandate pregnancy alcohol warning labels.
    As Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) has been recognised by teachers in the Kimberley, WA, region as an incoming classroom issue, this is not before time.
    What concerns me is that the Country Liberals appear to be intent on dismantling current alcohol supply restrictions in the NT. A proven floor price supply restriction and FASD do not seem to be of concern to Terry Mills in his management plan. Correct me if I’m wrong, Terry.

  2. I buy my supplies via Booze Bros in Adelaide. I order $300+ and it is free shipping so I bulk buy wines in casks and cooking sherries. Also other supplies.
    The only booze I buy in town is beer. Almost 90% of people I know buy bulk from other suppliers. So I am forced to support businesses interstate. I will not be bullied into waiting till 6 pm to buy cooking wines, a bottle at a time and per day. I find it laughable that propaganda is so easy to spread to the masses with out all the variables. If I cannot find what I need in town or I am forced to find another way to obtain goods I require, guess what, I have access to the Internet and more than a few businesses in other states are more than happy to provide.
    So that financial loss to local business will always impact on our economy. This government is really smart: remove money from the Territory and assist other states’ economy. Well done, Labor.

  3. Re Janet Brown (Posted August 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm): bravo Janet, encore, encore. What sort of stingy cook would even contemplate trying to get by on only one bottle of sherry per night!

  4. What sort of man finds delight in the abuse of women, Bob? No problem with your reply was there.

  5. Janet @ August 7. It is liquor that makes alcoholics. Your stated supply seems to qualify. The fewer alcoholics in Alice, the more productivity likely. It’s your economic formula that requires attention, not NT Labor.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here