Young binge drinkers have simply switched to cheaper booze to beat the Federal Government's controversial "alcopop" tax.
New research shows 15 to 29-year-olds have dodged the 70 per cent tax on popular pre-mixed drinks by changing their drink of choice.
The University of Queensland study found no significant reduction in binge drinking-related hospital admissions since the tax was introduced in 2008.
Well, well, well. Who could have possibly seen this coming? Those feisty Australian youngsters worked out that if they mix their own drinks, they could avoid paying tax on ready-mixed drinks. Those cheeky little larrikins.
Australians are the biggest consumers of alcohol in the Western world...
...ahead of the United Kingdom, the US and France.
OK, I'll give you the US, but aside from those lightweights...
Total alcohol consumption (litres, per capita) - World Health Organisation
Going from A-Z until I get bored, here are the countries that have a higher per capita alcohol consumption than Australia:
Czech Republic: 16.45
Bored now, but I think you get the picture. Do Australians really believe they are the "biggest consumers of alcohol in the Western world"? Perhaps they do. I dare say a lot of people in British think they are the biggest consumers of alcohol as well. Certainly, our 'alcohol charities' have no incentive to put the record straight and the media love the fantasy of 'Booze Britain'. Without the myth of exceptionally high drinking levels, who would support the temperance lobby's draconian policies?
And do you think that the abject failure of the alcopop tax has led to apologies and resignations within the 'public health' movement? Do you imagine that politicians have become weary of their broken promises? Or do you think that one failed policy is being used as justification for another?
I think you know the answer by now...
It has prompted fresh calls for a minimum price on alcohol.
Of course it has. And what kind of people are making these calls?
"The price is the most important single determinant of alcohol use and misuse," said co-chair Professor Mike Daube from Curtin University.
Remember Mike Daube? He's the guy who wants graphic warnings on bottles of booze. He is also Mr. Slippery Slope, as I have mentioned before.
Mike Daube was the president of ASH (UK) in the late 1970s when he put that organisation firmly on the path to prohibition. If drinkers have any doubt that they're on the same trajectory as smokers they might take note that they're not just faced with the same rhetoric, but with the same personnel.
And it's no surprise to see the recently formed National Alliance for Action on Alcohol getting in on the action. These science-denying, "one drink can cause cancer" cranks are everywhere in Australia these days.
The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol says 40 per cent of 16 to 17-year-olds admitted drinking to get drunk, so any moves to raise prices would be supported.
Apart from this being a complete non-sequitur, I am so very tired of neo-prohibitionists punishing legal consumers for the perceived crimes of illegal consumers. If you want to stop 16 and 17 years "drinking to get drunk", may I suggest you enforce the laws that already exist rather than soaking the rest of us for taxes?
Any more lies you'd like to tell?
Cask wine is cheaper than bottled water, retailing for about $7.50 for four litres.