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Alcohol lobbyists reject claims Australians are drinking to excess

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Lobbyists are disputing the claims of a new survey suggesting alcohol consumption has risen during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Australian National University study found 22.8 per cent of women who drank at all reported an increase in drinking during May, while 17.9 per cent of men reported an increase in the same period.

Alcohol Beverages Australia CEO Andrew Wilsmore told Mark Levy that those statistics don’t represent the study’s findings fairly.

Instead, he argued, reporting has omitted the detail that more of the Australians surveyed had in fact decreased their drinking (27 per cent).

“There’s this desire to perpetuate a myth that Australia continues to be a hard-drinking nation.

“It’s not the case anymore … this young caduceus cult’ve got through are more responsible … and moderation is increasingly the new norm.

“It’s a little bit unfortunate that we’re being characterised in that manner when really, Australians have heeded the responsibility message.

“It doesn’t do any favours to vilify them.”

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