LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The government has welcomed the Alcohol Policy and Legislation Review by the chair of the Expert Alcohol Panel and former Chief Justice of the NT, Trevor Riley.
The review provides 220 recommendations on reforms to alcohol policy and legislation, after identifying an ad-hoc system that isn’t fit for purpose. Many of the suggested reforms will require extensive changes and have widespread impact on community and business.
These need to be examined at length before a detailed government response can be delivered. The government has given support in principle to:–
• Overhauling the Liquor Act which will likely include changes to license categories and fees including risk based licensing.
• Reinstating an independent Liquor Commission to increase transparency, with decisions to be made based on a new public interest and community impact test.
• Focusing harm reduction measures on the density of liquor licences and volume of alcohol sales. This is a policy shift away from floor size restrictions and will require the repeal of 400m2 legislation. This means that any application, including Dan Murphy’s, will need to be considered by the Liquor Commission and satisfy the public interest and community impact test.
• Implementing a floor price on alcohol products to prevent alcohol related harms and continue to lobby the Federal government for a volumetric tax.
• POSIs and TBLs will remain a tool for police. Uniformed licensing inspectors will be authorised to assist police.
• Establishing a central unit in the Department of the Chief Minister to drive reforms.
We will today enact a complete moratorium on all new take away licenses including greenfield sites.
We have ruled out banning the sale of take away alcohol on Sundays.
We provide in principle support to recommendations around FASD, early childhood and education, treatment and sobering up shelters.
The detailed response to the report is expected to be complete by early next year.
Attorney-General and Minister for Health
LETTER TO THE EDITOR