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Health professionals

Cancer Council WA is calling on the State Government for better protections for the WA community, following new research that shows alcohol is being delivered without checks for ID and intoxication, while alcohol delivery companies engage in highly targeted marketing.

Cancer Council WA, Alcohol Program Manager, Danica Keric, said the research highlighted that current practices for online marketing and delivery of alcohol are putting people in the community at risk, especially children and people who drink at high risk levels.

“Between August and September 2022, Deakin University researchers surveyed close to 500 people who have purchased alcohol online for delivery in WA and found 22% had their delivery left unattended at the door and 50% did not have to show ID to prove they were over 18,” Ms Keric said.

“A quarter of respondents had alcohol delivered while intoxicated, 75% of whom were never or only sometimes refused delivery.

“The community expects there to be measures in place so that alcohol is not sold and supplied to people who are under 18 and people who are intoxicated.

“The research shows that checks and balances we expect as a community from bricks-and-mortar liquor stores are not being upheld online.

Ms Keric said when Deakin University researchers did their own series of test purchases for same day deliveries using research assistants who were over 18 years but appeared to look younger, they found 24% of alcohol orders were delivered without an ID check.

“Our laws have not kept pace with the alcohol delivery industry, which is now worth $2 billion in Australia,” she said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a proliferation of these companies, and they are continuing to grow.

“We need further sensible controls to help keep WA communities healthy and safe both now and as the online marketplace continues to evolve.”

Hope Community Services* Chief Growth and Innovation Officer, Helen Mitchell, is concerned about the additional risks for people who drink at high risk levels.

“People who drink at high risk levels are receiving multiple promotions to buy online each day, including deals to buy now pay later,” Ms Mitchell said.

“They are also more likely to use rapid or same day delivery companies, order higher volumes of alcohol, and to place and receive alcohol orders while they are intoxicated.

“As a leading alcohol and other drug service provider, we know the devastating effect that harmful drinking can have on individuals, families and communities, so it is disappointing to see how often alcohol delivery companies are enabling this behaviour and putting people at risk.

“The government needs to take the lead on this and make sure legislation keeps up.”

The WA Government introduced some measures in February 2022 to regulate how alcohol can be delivered and is currently conducting a broader review of our liquor laws.

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