LETTER: Want the facts on alcohol in Central Australia?

Sir – Professor Dennis Gray, Deputy Director of the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University, will explain the findings of the Longitudinal Study of influences on alcohol consumption and related harm in Central Australia, with a particular emphasis on the role of price in Alice Springs (see advertisement this edition).

This is a major study into price, supply restrictions, levels of drinking and the injury and the resulting illness and injury.

The findings include:

• a significant reduction in estimated per capita consumption of pure alcohol over the period 2000–2010 related to alcohol supply measures, including restrictions;

• a strong correlation between consumption and average wholesale price per litre, indicating that the control measures with the greatest effect on consumption were those related to price, such as the banning of low-cost products such as cask wine;

• changes in rates of alcohol-related police incident reports were related largely to changes in policing policy and practice, and have little value in evaluating the effect of the control measures.

The longitudinal study, funded by the Federal Government and undertaken by the NT Department of Health, the National Drug Research Institute and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (health service) covers ten years – from 2000 to 2010.

Vicki Gillick
PAAC Policy Co-ordinator

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