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WA Considers A Minimum Price On Booze

The WA government is considering enforcing a floor price on takeaway booze to stop people getting hammered on cheap alcohol, but the opposition says it is a cost impost on households and red tape burden on businesses.

Premier Mark McGowan said people could buy a bottle of wine for just a few dollars and it was a problem for alcoholics.

"The availability of alcohol in our community is an issue," he said on Wednesday.

Mr McGowan said he understood it was a controversial issue, but stressed it was not a tax and the government was only investigating whether something should be done.

"We're going to consider it, see what the community's views are, see what the health experts views are, see what the industry's views are and make sure we look at what the options are," he said.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the goal was to encourage responsible drinking and stop people getting "hammered" on cheap alcohol, but insisted it was not about targeting poor people.

"This will mean less alcohol-related violence in our community and this will mean fewer people fronting our hospitals with chronic disease, which could be avoided if we just changed our approach to cheap alcohol," he told Radio 6PR.

Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the idea appeared to be a thought bubble from the health minister with no supporting research.

"If the minister can show empirical evidence that putting a minimum retail price on alcohol in Western Australia will impact the rate of problem drinking, we will examine that evidence and consider any proposals based on that evidence," he said.

"In a society where the vast majority of people drink responsibly and enjoy the benefits of being able to purchase reasonably priced alcohol, this will be another cost impost on household by the McGowan government and a further red tape burden on businesses."

AAP

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