By ERWIN CHLANDA
A government spokesman, Gino Luglietti, this morning issued a statement about the Opposition’s changed position on the alcohol floor price, but he has not answered questions about the legality of the measure under the Australian Constitution.
The matter was raised in an Alice Springs News Online report about the wine industry’s position on the Constitution’s Section 92 which says “trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States, whether by means of internal carriage or ocean navigation, shall be absolutely free.”
Mail and online liquor purchases from interstate are affected by the floor price which started on October 1 in the NT.
Mr Luglietti two days ago verbally replied “absoultely not” when asked whether the floor price was in violation of the Constitution but has so far not provided, as requested by the News, a written response detailing what his assertion is based on.
Meanwhile Mr Luglietti says: “After 16 months of passionate support [for the floor price], Gary Higgins (pictured) has adopted Adam Giles’ alcohol policy.
“Gary Higgins knows his ‘new’ position will increase crime and anti-social behaviour”.
Mr Luglietti quotes several statements of the Opposition, including its submission to the alcohol policies and legislation review: “Any method that increases price will help to significantly reduce both consumption and the harm related with misuse of alcohol and abuse.”
Mr Luglietti says: “Opposition Leader Gary Higgins and the CLP say they withdrew their support because they only just found out the review will take place at least every three years.
“FACT: This was a recommendation in the Riley Review. FACT: Attorney General, Natasha Fyles, told Parliament in August that the review would take place at least every three years.
“Gary Higgins claims he did not call for a $1.50 floor price. FACT: Gary Higgins ‘While I would have liked to see the Riley $1.50, I can live with $1.30.’ Source: ABC Online, February 28, 2018.
“Gary Higgins now claims he must withdraw support due to a range of issues he has never raised.
“FACT: Gary Higgins has consistently pushed for and supported a floor price for 16 months straight,” says Mr Luglietti.
“FACT: Gary Higgins has adopted Adam Giles’ alcohol policy five days after Adam Giles’ former Chief of Staff, Ron Kelly, became CLP President.”
Meanwhile Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Natasha Fyles (pictured), says Territorians who feel they are potentially being price gouged by alcohol retailers should notify consumer affairs.
She says a radio talkback caller had suggested his 30 pack of mid strength beers jumped from $35 to $42 due to the floor price. Under the floor price, his product could be sold for $35, she says.
“Another caller said her four pack of wines jumped from $40 to $60 due to the floor price. Under the floor price, her product could be sold for as little as $40.”
By ERWIN CHLANDA