The Australian Government’s decision to introduce a national drink standard for Australians has prompted a debate over the future of alcohol in the country, with the beverage industry looking at alternatives to the drink currently on sale.
Drinking is expected to be legalised in 2018, but it is not clear when, or if, alcohol will be legally available to everyone in Australia.
Currently, Australians can only legally purchase alcohol at licensed premises and the retail prices are set by the Australian Government.
“The Government is committed to ensuring the Australian people can enjoy alcohol responsibly,” the Federal Government said in a statement, before the new drink standard was introduced.
The Federal Government’s new alcohol standard for all Australians: ‘Drink responsibly’ The Federal Opposition is urging the Government to scrap the current drink standard, which they argue is too low for Australia’s ageing population.
Opposition leader Luke Foley told the ABC’s AM program on Monday that the government should take a broader look at what the nation’s alcohol consumption is and make the drink available to all Australians.
“If you look at the alcohol consumption in the Australian population, you will find that Australians consume a lot of alcohol,” Mr Foley said.
Mr Foley said it was important to “look at the data, not the politics”.
“The Australian people want to be able to have a drink,” he said.
“They don’t want to wait for the Government’s alcohol policy to change.”
The drink standard has already led to protests from the beverage companies, which are not happy with the Government introducing the drink standard in the first place.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Australian Beverage Association said it would not support the policy change until “it has been fully implemented”.
“In addition to the long-standing demand for a minimum standard of safety and quality of life for all Australian consumers, the industry remains deeply concerned that the Government is not doing enough to ensure that Australians are drinking responsibly,” it said.