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Health professionals

Cancer Council WA is calling on the State Government to close loopholes in online alcohol retail following a community survey* that showed overwhelming community support for stronger community protections for the online sale, delivery and advertising of alcohol.

Cancer Council WA Alcohol Program Manager, Julia Stafford, said poor checks and balances for online marketing, sale and delivery of alcohol are putting people in the community at risk of harm, especially children, people who drink at high risk levels, and those around them.

“A recent study  of test purchasing of same day and rapid online alcohol home delivery in both Perth, WA, and Geelong, Victoria, demonstrated that alcohol companies do not consistently verify age when selling and delivering alcohol, and WA adults are rightly concerned,” Ms Stafford said.

“With the review of WA’s alcohol laws well underway, the WA Government now has a significant opportunity to put the health and wellbeing of our communities above large alcohol company profits.

“We need the Cook Government to close the current loopholes and introduce common-sense community protections.”

Urgent checks and balances that are needed include:

  • Effective digital age verification for online sales of alcohol to ensure alcohol isn’t sold to children
  • ID checks on delivery to ensure alcohol isn’t supplied to children or intoxicated people
  • A two-hour safety pause between the order and delivery to prevent the rapid delivery of alcohol into homes
  • Keeping deliveries to between 10am and 10pm, to minimise risks from alcohol use in the home late at night, such as the risks of family violence
  • Preventing alcohol companies from targeting and marketing alcohol products to people who experience the greatest harms from alcohol.

“Our laws have not kept pace with the changing ways alcohol companies do business,” she said,

“The rapid expansion of the online alcohol marketplace is making large profits for alcohol companies but the current practices of online alcohol companies are not meeting community expectations.”

Community survey*

Cancer Council WA commissioned the University of Melbourne to conduct a survey to examine WA adults’ awareness of harms from alcohol, concerns about alcohol-related issues, and support for alcohol control policies. The survey of 1,013 respondents aged 18 years and over was conducted in May 2023.

  • Two thirds (66%) of WA adults surveyed are concerned about the ease with which young people can buy alcohol online and 64% are concerned about young people being exposed to alcohol ads online.
  • There is overwhelming community support for stronger community protections for the online sale and delivery of alcohol:
    • 83% support independent ID checks when buying alcohol online
    • 84% support independent ID checks when the alcohol order is delivered
    • 74% support alcohol not being left unattended at the delivery address
    • 62% support alcohol deliveries not being allowed before 10am and after 10pm.
  • The WA community wants action on alcohol advertising by online companies:
    • 78% support controls on digital platforms to prevent children and young people seeing alcohol ads
    • 73% support alcohol companies not being able to use personal data (browsing and shopping history) to create targeted marketing
    • 70% support our governments taking action to regulate how alcohol companies market their products to reduce community exposure to alcohol products