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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

Grog use inquiry hears calls for wine tax changes

The director of South Australia's Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council says changing the way wine is taxed could help in the fight against alcohol use.

Scott Wilson has appeared before a federal standing committee on the impact of alcohol use in remote Aboriginal communities. He says taxes on beer and spirits are based on alcohol volume but wine is taxed on its wholesale price.

Mr Wilson says the idea of an across-the-board alcohol volume tax is not new but would help prevent people from frequently getting intoxicated on cheap wine. 'So that's why you can go into some of these outlets and buy a bottle of cleanskin wine for a couple of bucks, less than a bottle of water, because they're not actually taxed according to the alcohol content,' he said.

Mr Wilson is also calling for children affected by alcohol in the womb to be better supported. He says Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a substantial problem in these communities but there is little support available as it is not a recognised disability.

Mr Wilson says although a diagnostic tool is being developed, help is needed for those affected. 'Unless FASD is declared a disability they can have the diagnosis but they still won't be able to get access to [a] residential Commonwealth rehab type service, treatment and things like that, so ... we spoke quite a bit about that,' he said.

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation Indigenous

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Last updated: 20 May 2014
 
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