Health and community groups are today calling on the South Australian (SA) Government to introduce mandatory age checks to ensure alcohol is not sold to children online.
The Liquor Licensing (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2021 (the Bill), due to be tabled in SA Parliament this week does not include a requirement for alcohol companies to verify proof of age identification when selling alcoholic products online.
The Bill also continues to allow alcohol to be left at a doorstep without any checks at all, creating a risk of alcohol supply to children and people who are intoxicated.
FARE CEO, Caterina Giorgi, said that the amendments fail to hold alcohol companies responsible for checks and balances that the community expects to be in place.
“At a time when we should be prioritising family health and safety, it’s disappointing to see these amendments do not include a requirement for alcohol companies to verify proof of age identification when selling alcoholic products online,” Ms. Giorgi said.
“We need to close the loopholes in our laws so that online alcohol companies uphold community standards like checking ID.”
NSW recently introduced a suite of new laws for alcohol deliveries, including the obligation to verify age both online and upon delivery for same day deliveries.
Dr Erin Lalor, CEO of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation said the Government is failing in its duty of care to protect our children. Requiring proof of age checks is the bare minimum the community expects from companies selling and delivering alcohol and must be included in this legislation.
“Right now, the SA Parliament has the opportunity to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep families and communities safe by introducing common-sense measures on online alcohol sale and delivery,” Dr Lalor said.
Michael White, the Executive Officer of the SA Network of Drug and Alcohol Services (SANDAS), said there is also a missed opportunity here to support people dealing with alcohol dependence.
“Support services have seen many people experiencing alcohol dependence during the pandemic. This Bill allows the expansion of rapid alcohol delivery into homes, which will only make life harder for these people and their families.”
FARE, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, and SANDAS are advocating for common-sense measures in SA to protect the health and wellbeing of our families and communities, including:
- Requiring online age verification through digital ID checks to ensure alcohol is not sold to children.
- No unattended deliveries of alcohol to be made, to protect children and people are who intoxicated from being supplied alcohol.
- Introducing a delay of two hours between order and delivery to stop the rapid supply of alcoholic products to people who may be intoxicated or managing alcohol dependence.