By James Atkinson

A crackdown by NSW authorities on discounted alcohol has been met with surprise by the Liquor Stores Association NSW (LSA NSW), which reiterated its position that there is no proven link between cheap alcohol and problem drinking.

The Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority announced this week that it had deferred bottle shop applications by three large supermarket chains following concerns about the potential social impact of heavily discounted alcohol.

The Authority said it had written to Woolworths, Coles and Aldi outlining its concerns and inviting submissions addressing the impact of alcohol pricing. 

The supermarket chains are also being invited to comment on the weighting the Authority should give to alcohol pricing when assessing applications for new bottle shop licences.

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"We are aware of the potential for alcohol sales to increase violence and anti-social behaviour, public drinking, underage drinking and specifically the availability of liquor in a community if it is heavily discounted," said Authority chairperson Chris Sidoti.

 "Recent advertisements by chains associated with all three companies and media reports of a price war for pre-Christmas sales have prompted the Authority to bring these concerns to the retailers' attention."

LSA NSW CEO Terry Mott told TheShout the Association was surprised at the Authority's move.

"We'll watch with interest how they approach it," he said.

Mott reiterated that overall per capita alcohol consumption in Australia has been flat or declining for the last three decades, since peaking in the mid 1970s.

He said if there was any link between liquor discounting and alcohol consumption, it would have risen dramatically over the last five to ten years, along with the growth of large outlets and discount liquor pricing across Australia.


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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  1. The idea that supermarkets can sell liquor in their supermarkets is ridiculous.
    I believe that the “majors”, i.e. Coles, Woollies, and now Aldi should be made to separate their businesses, as their groceries prop up their liquor, petrol and hardwares.
    The drinking problem became a problem when pubs and clubs were allowed to stay open till 5:00 or even 6:00 o’clock in the morning. They should be made to shut at midnight at the latest.
    And the fact that the above mentioned sell discounted liquor because some of the suppliers offer them huge discounts to sell bulk liquor.
    I am more and more in favour of regulation in the liquor market. If everyone was to sell liquor at the same price there would be a two fold effect – a) there would be a level playing field for all and b) there would be no discounting and some people wouldn’t be able to afford as much and hence would reduce the impact they have in regards to liquor problems.

  2. Coles apologises for dissatisfaction with alcohol promotion

    Supermarket giant, Coles has been investing heavily in advertising and stunts to promote sale of alcohol through its stores.

    Huge fuel discounts rewarding purchase of alcohol are a dangerous combination, fuel and booze.

    The latest stunt offers a free grog voucher to reward grocery purchases.

    A Coles representative has apologised for dissatisfaction with their promotion but claims they are committed to safe and responsible sale of alcohol to over 18’s.

    Children read papers, children see posters and advertising, children help buy groceries!

    Combining free alcohol and fuel discounts reinforces behaviour that will make Coles lots of money but potentially cause serious problems.

    Responsible marketing and community minded behaviour by Coles is the solution, not government rules..

    There are so many rules for cigarette marketing, yet, as harmful and disgusting as smoking is, it is not a factor in road accidents, brawls, violence and anti-social behaviour.

    Coles successfully baited Woolworths into copying their promotion of alcohol and fuel, offering 30 cents a litre fuel discount.

    They only offer 4 cents discount as an incentive to buy the necessities of life but 25 cents if you buy beer.

    Millions spent promoting alcohol should be matched providing support for families damaged by irresponsible use of alcohol.

  3. The government imposing enormous taxes on alcohol in this country is nothing but a cash grab, the idea that it has anything to do with protecting the citizens from themselves is purely a smokescreen. Stop fighting big box resellers and start pointing figures at the government.

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