We need common-sense measures around the online sale and delivery of alcohol

Failure to meet basic safety standards puts our families and communities at risk

Why is this important?

We all agree that the health and wellbeing of all families and communities across our country is of paramount importance.  

But risky levels of alcohol use in our homes increase the likelihood of self-harm and family violence. 

FARE’s 2020 Annual Alcohol Poll found the majority (70%) of people receiving a rapid alcohol delivery (within 2 hours) drank at risky levels, including 38% who drank more than 10 standard drinks on the day of delivery. This is significantly higher than the recommendation in the National Alcohol Guidelines.

Now more than ever, we have to do all we can to ensure that everyday Australians are safe and free from alcohol harm in their homes.

Alcohol companies have a responsibility towards our communities. But with the expansion of online advertising and alcohol delivery, the health of our communities is at further risk.

Our laws have not kept pace with the changing ways these companies sell alcohol.

There are unintended loopholes that mean the common-sense checks and balances we expect as a community are not being upheld online – like checking IDs to make sure alcohol is not sold to children or practicing responsible service of alcohol to ensure it is not being delivered to people who are already intoxicated.

It’s time to close these loopholes to help keep our communities healthy and safe.

What do we want?

Together we can create an Australia free from alcohol harm. To get there, we need the following common-sense measures:

  1. Limit alcohol deliveries to between 10 am and 10 pm, to reduce the known risks of alcohol-related family violence and suicide which peak late at night in the home.
  2. Introduce a delay of two hours between order and delivery, to stop rapid supply of alcohol to people who may be intoxicated or dealing with alcohol dependence.
  3. Require online age verification through digital ID checks, to ensure alcohol is not sold to children.
  4. Require ID checks upon delivery and ban unattended delivery, to ensure alcohol is not supplied to children or people who are intoxicated.
  5. Prevent alcohol companies from predatory targeting and marketing towards people who are at their most vulnerable, to protect people’s health and privacy.

The story so far

In 2020, the NSW Parliament passed new laws that will hold alcohol companies that sell their products online to a higher standard and close the loopholes for alcohol delivery.

More specifically, these reforms will stop alcohol being delivered to people who are intoxicated and raise the standard for Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training. These laws will also make it mandatory for companies to check that they’re not selling alcohol to children for deliveries made the same day.

Now, the Victorian Government has the same opportunity to introduce reforms through a review of liquor law concluding in 2021. This review has committed to addressing the role of alcohol in worsening family violence, as recommended by the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.

FARE is working with Alcohol Change Vic and other allies to advocate for common-sense reforms to online alcohol sale and delivery, to help prevent harms like family violence in Victoria. Read the policy position here.

How can I help?

Are you or your organisation interested in this issue and happy to advocate for reform with decision-makers? Send an email to FARE’s Policy and Research Team at info@fare.org.au.

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