Disagreeing is not ignoring

The Stuff headline:

Major report into reducing alcohol harm ignored for almost a decade

The report was not ignored. It was considered, debated and voted on. The fact a majority of MPs disagreed with Sir Geoffrey Palmer doesn’t mean it was ignored.

For the former prime minister, four of the 2010 recommendations could still have a huge impact in reducing alcohol harm: raising the age of purchase to 20-years-old; regulating advertising and sponsorship; raising prices; and introducing an excise tax.

Parliament has voted three times now on the purchase age and after submissions, hearing and considering the facts, voted each time for 20.

The facts MPs considered were things such as youth drink driving rates have halved. The proportion of 15 to 17 year olds drinking has declined from 75% to 57%.The rate of hazardous drinking in 18 to 24 year olds has dropped from 45% to 38%.

Also the liters of alcohol available for consumption per capita has not increased since the 1989 liberalisation. Here’s annual totals:

  • 1989 10.96
  • 1995 9.85
  • 2000 9.43
  • 2010 10.16
  • 2018 9.24

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