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LLA Decision Brings Huge Relief

30 May 2008

LLA Decision Brings Huge Relief

Liquor Licensing Authority (LLA) decision released today has rejected Progressive Foods application for a “store within a store” concept. The application was one of a range of strategies being used by supermarket interests to gain the ability to sell spirits and spirit-based drinks.

Alcohol Healthwatch Director Rebecca Williams says the decision brings huge relief to those with an interest in alcohol-harm prevention and puts the brakes on the continuous undermining of the Sale of Liquor act by industry players.

Not only has the decision rejected Progressive’s application it also discusses other similar cases and highlights the need to review an earlier decision which gave the go ahead to The Warehouse Cellars for a similar concept.

Williams says that community health and safety will be protected by the decision which is exactly what the Sale of Liquor Act is meant to do.

Since supermarkets have been allowed to sell wine and beer price competition has been fierce. Williams says that price is a key influencer of the amounts of alcohol people consume. Currently the spirit-based drinks, commonly called RTDs, are driving consumption levels up. These beverages are particularly popular among the young and female populations and have been linked directly to increased harm.

Williams doubts that the decision will stop the industries concerned looking for other ways to grow the spirits market.

A full review of liquor legislation is required and Williams believes that this decision will help to ensure that harm reduction is the primary object of such a review and not commercial interest.


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