#1072 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 10 May 2015.
Australians are known as a nation of drinkers. From the public delight in Prime Ministerial beer swilling to the private disgrace of the solitary alcoholic, our love affair with alcohol runs deep.
But according to new research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian alcohol consumption is at a 50-year low, with beer consumption dropping from 75 to 41 per cent of all alcohol consumed, and less overall alcohol consumed.
Health experts have commended the reduction in consumption, but warn it does not equate to a reduction in alcohol-related harm.
Nadine Ezard, clinical director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney said alcohol consumption caused the death of 5500 Australians each year, and one in five Australians continue to consume alcohol at levels that put them at risk of lifetime harm.
She said it was time we had “a serious national conversation about alcohol and how we can better manage its negative impact.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.