WA’s peak body for the packaged liquor industry has welcomed the public statements made today by Health Minister Roger Cook committing to consulting industry in policy issues that impact on trade.
Liquor Stores Association of WA (LSAWA) CEO Peter Peck said Health Minister Roger Cook’s statement on radio 6PR this morning that he “needs to hear from industry” on the proposal to set a minimum price for selected takeaway alcohol was encouraging, although should have come before the announcement was made.
“In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had the Police Commissioner lobby for ‘region-wide’ liquor restrictions, Pilbara Police impose, then amend, a blanket ban on the sale of alcohol claiming a threat to public safety and confirmation that the Health Department is investigating a so-called ‘floor price’ on takeaway liquor – all without a word of consultation with us,” Mr Peck said.
“The LSAWA has amply demonstrated an extremely proactive and collaborative approach to sensible measures to reduce harm to vulnerable individuals.”
“The point that seems to be constantly overlooked is that if people with addiction issues are abusing alcohol to self-medicate to try to cope with deeper issues, by removing only one of the tools they use to do so without addressing the core issues is a pointless exercise.”
“The most efficient and effective way to help these vulnerable people is to provide better support services and create tools such as a banned drinker register to restrict these individuals’ access to alcohol without unduly burdening the vast majority of consumers who drink responsibly.”
“The key message for government and the health lobby is that the LSAWA, as the peak body for takeaway liquor in WA, is very keen to work with authorities and community services to minimize harm caused by the abuse of alcohol, but we must work together as a team.”