Northern Territory residents are world’s biggest drinkers

June 15th, 2009 - 1:03 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, June 15 (ANI): Residents of the Northern Territory in Australia are the biggest drinkers in the world, according to a report.

Figures published in the Menzies School of Health Research report suggest that Territorians, as the people of the Northern Territory are called, drink 15 litres of pure alcohol each year, which is three times the global average.

Only the Irish and Czechs are the people who come close to matching Territorians at the bar, with their annual alcohol consumption being 13 litres.

The Menzies report reveals that average alcohol consumption among the residents of Alice Springs, the second largest city in the Northern Territory, was 20 litres in 2005-06.

It further states that figures for Alice Springs “indicated” alcohol consumption had dropped 18 per cent since a suite of Commonwealth and Territory Government restrictions came into force in 2006.

This means that locals there are still among the biggest drinkers in the world, drinking more than 16L of pure alcohol a year per person aged 15 years and over.

Health Minister Kon Vatskalis is concerned about the high levels of drinking among Territorians.

“Absolutely, that’s why we introduced alcohol management plans for different parts of NT,” Australian tabloid Northern Territory News quoted him as saying.

“We know that alcohol can do a lot of damage, not just in the NT, we can see what happens interstate. Alcohol has a very bad effect on the health of Territorians and the health of Australians,” he added.

The study focused on the amount of alcohol consumed in Alice Springs in the wake of the NT Government’s alcohol restrictions.

The restrictions banned the sale of 4L and 5L wine casks and limited the sale of 2L casks to between 6pm and 9pm.

According to the paper, the policy saw a dramatic reduction in cask wine sales, but an increase in beer consumption.

The sale of pure alcohol had dropped by 18 per cent, which, according to Vatskalis, amounted to a reduction of about 544, 4L wine casks being drunk in Alice Springs each day. (ANI)

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