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Why is this important?

The expansion of online sale and delivery is making alcohol more accessible at home, increasing the risk of alcohol harms.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians reported using alcohol most frequently at home with 73% drinking either in their home or someone else’s home, according to FARE’s 2020 Annual Alcohol Poll.

FARE’s 2020 Annual Alcohol Poll found the majority (70 per cent) of rapid alcohol delivery users drank at risky levels, including 38 per cent who drank more than 10 standard drinks on the day of delivery.

A 2020 VicHealth survey also found that a third of people who use online alcohol companies said they did not have their ID checked. What is even more shocking — around a quarter of those people were aged 18-24.

Risky levels of alcohol use can increase the likelihood of self-harm and family violence.

Alcohol companies have a responsibility to make sure they are not harming our communities.

But our laws have not kept pace with the changing ways 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. No alcohol deliveries between 10 pm and 10 am, 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

New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia have been the first to take action on this issue, introducing targeted laws to reduce harm. It is time for the rest of Australia to follow suit.

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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