Australian Government’s alcohol policy a ‘fizzer’

New results:

  • Majority of Australian jurisdictions scored well below a pass grade in alcohol policy
  • The Australian Federal Government scored the lowest result and has received the 2014 Fizzers award.
  • ACT led the country again in alcohol policy for 2014, while NSW received the award for ‘most improved’.

For the second year running the Australian Federal Government has received the annual Fizzers award today by the National Alliance of Action on Alcohol (NAAA) for its inaction in developing and implementing alcohol policy in 2014.

Representing more than 70 organisations, NAAA was formed in 2009 to strengthen and improve policies that prevent alcohol-related harm and in 2013, the alliance introduced the National Alcohol Policy Scorecard to assess the policy response of Australian jurisdictions.

The Australian Federal Government’s performance was very poor, scoring the lowest result overall (9%) on the national scorecard, a drop of 20 percent from last year.

Professor Mike Daube, Co-Chair of the NAAA and Public Health Association of Australia alcohol spokesperson was disappointed with the overall results of the 2014 National Alcohol Policy Scorecard.

“The majority of jurisdictions again did not score well this year for their alcohol policies, with all scoring below a pass grade (less than 50%). The Australian Government was by far the lowest performing jurisdiction in the country and in recognition of this has received the 2014 Fizzers award,” said Professor Daube.

“It’s disappointing that the Australian Government is falling even further behind the rest of the country when it comes to developing and implementing evidence-based policies that reduce alcohol-related harm,” said Professor Daube.

“Their low score largely reflects the lack of action and deep funding cuts in a number of key alcohol policy areas. The most critical shortcomings include the lack of a national alcohol strategy since 2010, and inaction in the areas of alcohol taxation, regulation of alcohol marketing, and labelling of alcohol products. Other backward steps also include the Government’s dismantling of a number of key advisory groups such as the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) and the Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA) and ending the Be The Influence sports sponsorship program.

In contrast, the ACT government remained on top for the second year with the highest score overall (48%) and will receive an award in recognition of its achievements.

Rank Jurisdiction Total points achieved  Total possible points  Final score (%)
 1  ACT  13.5  28  48
 2  WA  12  28  45
 3  NSW  11.5  28  41
 4  VIC  11.5  28  41
 5  TAS  10  28  36
 6  QLD  9  28  32
 7  NT  8.5  28  30
 8  SA  8.5  28  30
 9  FEDERAL  2.5  27  9


DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT: National Alcohol Policy Scorecard 2014 Results: Benchmarking Australian Governments’ Progress Towards Preventing & Reducing Alcohol Related Harm

Todd Harper, Professor Mike Daube and Michael Thorn are available for interview.

For further information or to arrange an interview with a NAAA spokesperson please contact:

Emma Fay, Cancer Council Victoria, 0415 477 537

Amy Smith, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, 0422 385 240