Goon sales in NT halve after floor price introduced


THE amount of goon purchased by Territorians has halved since Australia's first "floor price" on alcohol was introduced though the purchase of standard spirits has increased slightly, according to never-before-seen data released by the NT Government.

The latest data, calculated in wholesale supply by litres of "pure alcohol content" (PAC), shows cask wine sales fell 50 per cent across the NT in the four quarters after the floor price was introduced.

In the same time frame, the sale of standard spirits increased in nearly every region except Darwin City and East Arnhem.


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Raw wholesale alcohol data, which was used in the initial one-year review into the NT's minimum unit price laws, is statistically fraught because it hasn't been overlaid with other measures like population growth, NT authorities say.

While the most up-to-date analysis remains in the report authored by Deakin University researchers and released in April, this is the first time the wholesale alcohol data has been made available to the public.

The NT's alcohol floor price - which established a minimum price of $1.30 for every standard drink - was introduced in October 2018 and pushed the average price of cask wine up by 86 per cent.



Researchers, including lead author Professor Peter Miller, found there were early signs the floor price was helping to reduce alcohol-related harm but cautioned more time was needed before positive impacts could be confidently determined.

In the latest data, the largest increase in standard spirit sales by PAC was in the Daly-Tiwi-West Arnhem region (18 per cent), followed by Palmerston with a 16.2 per cent increase and Litchfield with an 11 per cent increase. The largest dips in cask wine sales occurred in Katherine (72.5 per cent drop), followed by Litchfield (65.9 per cent drop), and the Daly-Tiwi-West Arnhem region (58.6 per cent drop).

Prof Miller said in general, people who purchased goon and those that preferred spirits were two different sets of customers and it was "really unlikely" that the data on those two points were related.



Overall, since the introduction of the floor price, the cask wine's share of the alcohol market in the Territory fell from nearly 4 per cent to 2 per cent, with standard spirits now nearly a fifth of the market.

A spokeswoman for Attorney-General Natasha Fyles argued the government's measures, including the Banned Drinker Register and the floor price, were working.

"We have seen a massive decline in assaults, hospital admissions and even child protection notifications since these measures were brought in," she said.

Retail Drinks Australia, the peak body representing the industry, said it was "still too early to make definitive statements" about the efficacy of the floor price and called the government to have an "independent process open to industry participation".

Originally published as Goon sales in NT halve after floor price introduced, new data shows