Statement on the Liquor Bill

13 August 2019

Amendments to the Liquor Bill should not punish the majority because of the actions of a few.

Opposition Leader Gary Higgins said a key concern was the Bill would blame, punish or intimidate the vast majority of Territorians and Territory businesses who do not have a problem with alcohol.

"We must reject the idea that society in general is to blame for alcohol harm and instead return to the fundamental understanding that each individual should be held to account for his or her behaviour," he said.

Mr Higgins said there was also concerns the BDR and floor price contributed to secondary supply.

"There is no evidence at all to suggest that the floor price, on its own, has done anything to reduce alcohol harm in the Territory," he said.

"What it has done is increased the cost to everyday Territorians, people who do the right thing and do not have a problem with alcohol, to enjoy a beer or a glass of wine on a Friday afternoon after a long week of work.

"Instead of punishing everyone, we should be focusing on problem drinkers that are the root of alcohol-related harm in the Territory."

The Opposition has also called for an extensive evaluation of the BDR, as evidence to date suggests the BDR is having little, if any effect at all, without the continued use of point of sale interventions.

"It was interesting that, not too long after the re-introduction of the BDR and the removal of police from bottle shops around the Territory that the Gunner Labor Government decided to implement a 2016 CLP election promise and start recruiting auxiliary officers to undertake bottle shop duties, and inefficiently implemented by Labor," Mr Higgins said.

"We support this Bill, but as always, we will watch closely for any unintended consequences that may arise from this legislation."