ACCC authorises alcohol supply restrictions in NT

Posted by Janice Wong on 13th May 2010

After almost two months since the draft decision, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has now authorised proposed alcohol supply restrictions in an agreement between liquor licensees in the Casuarina business precinct in Darwin.The restrictions will limit the supply of certain takeaway products including large volume wine, fortified wine and pre-mixed products.

The restrictions are part of a liquor accord which has been developed by a committee made up of representatives of a number of businesses in the Casuarina shopping precinct as well as the Northern Territory Police and Northern Territory licensing officials.

ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said “The ACCC accepts the advice of the Casuarina Business Precinct Stakeholders Committee that the supply restrictions are likely to assist in efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour in the Casuarina precinct, with associated enhanced crime prevention and improved public safety”.

“The liquor accord is a community based initiative aimed at reducing alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in the particular shopping precinct.”

“In the case of the Casuarina accord, the detriment from the restrictions is limited,” Mr Samuel said.

“While the supply restrictions limit product choice and consumer convenience, currently only a small range of products are affected and competition between licensees with respect to the majority of products they sell will not be affected.”

The ACCC may authorise this type of arrangement when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment. Authorisation provides immunity from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The ACCC has granted conditional authorisation for three years. At the end of this time there will be evidence to assess the effectiveness of the accord in terms of the restrictions applied and products included.

The ACCC’s determination is available from the public register on ACCC website.