By James Atkinson

As the battle between Coles and Woolworths intensifies, the Liquor Stores Association NSW has poured scorn on claims by the state's pubs that lower prices in bottle shops lead to excessive drinking.

Australian Hotels Association (NSW) director of policing and regulations, John Greens, today said the slashing of prices by liquor barns of up to 31 per cent was "totally irresponsible".

"Hoteliers – and the residents living nearby – are sick to death of having to put up with drunken louts who have 'pre-fuelled' at home, turning up and
causing trouble when they are refused entry," he said.

"Licensed premises have strict responsible service of alcohol measures in place as well as their own pro-active measures, yet the Government is not as keen to impose any standards on the bulk liquor barns springing up across NSW."

But this was slammed as ridiculous by the LSA, with its NSW president Giuseppe Minissale – who owns five Porters Liquor stores – telling TheShout there was no evidence whatsoever to support the AHA's claims.

"Just because you discount something doesn't mean people drink more," he said.

"The parallels they are trying to draw are ludicrous. I mean if they cut the price of milk to $1 a litre do people drink more milk?

"All this leads to is maybe some pantry-stocking."

LSA NSW CEO Terry Mott said Australian Bureau of Statistics data show that overall per capita alcohol consumption in Australia has been flat or declining for the last three decades, since peaking in the mid 1970s.

If the AHA's argument was correct, he said, overall levels of consumption 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. What planet are the Liquor Stores Association on?? Worldwide experts (including Tanya Chikrytzhs and Barbor) identify that price is a huge indicator on alcohol consumption, along with availability and enforcement. 70% of alcohol related crimein NSW occur away from pubs and clubs but the LSA want to wash their hands of it!

  2. If increasing the price of alcopops with a tax reduced sales, (and others moving to free pour) surely dropping the price would lead to increased use?

  3. Why would you discount something if you didnt want people to buy more of it? The Liquor Stores Association argument is a ridiculous one to say the least. Just head out to a carpark on a Friday night down at Nobbys in Newcastle and you can see the latest cheap merchandise being drank from the nearest bulk liquor outlet. It aint milk. And the people drinking it aint 18 either! No doubt they got it from their parents overstocked pantries!

  4. FINALLY some reality, good venue operators have been labelled the cause of most violence and hotels are considered (due to misaligned media propaganda) dangerous places for the public to go, this incorrect and insulting and simultaneously the supermarkets have been selling 3 cartons of beer for under $98.00, hotels are not allowed to sell reduced priced beer or spirits as it is not Responsible service of alcohol and encourages binge drinking, the public buys cheap take away alcohol, drinks it at home or in public place at a rapid binge type rate because they have soooo much purchased soooo cheaply, until they soooo intoxicated, they then become involved in unsocial behaviour before migrating to the nearest pub to buy more, where they are refused entry due to intoxication, the venue refusing entry gets tarred with the brush that brands venues as violence HOT Spots, I think this is unjust and that supermarkets need to take responsibility for their actions here, they should never have been granted the opportunity to sell liquor as they hide behind their massive corporate screen while raping the community of money via the Poker Machine venues they own, while simultaneously contributing significantly to the current binge drinking culture made available by their irresponsible bulk discount selling of alcohol.
    Make the Supermarkets accountable or Remove alcohol sales from all supermarkets and bring back civilisation where most drinking was done in a supervised hotel environment.

  5. Unfortunately, it seems that the horse has bolted on this issue. As the proprietor and hands-on operator of a 3am venue for the past 25 years, this is arguement thatI have been “shouting” for many years, my words rang on deaf ears for a long time. It is clear to all, when alcohol is at a reduced price, people DO NOT think ” ah lovely, a night of drinking and it only costs me half the normal price”. Of course not, what they think is “FANTASTIC! now I can drink twice as much for the same price, Yay!”
    This discount pricing is contributing to binge drinking and alcohol related crime and violence. STOP the supermarkets now! Governments must take action and not the soft path. If they are genuine in their statements of wishing to address alcohol related problems, then they must begin with “happy hour pricing” in supermarkets.

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