Why is the SA Government reintroducing the annual collection of wholesale alcohol sales data?

    Excessive alcohol consumption is an important public health issue as it contributes significantly to the burden of disease and public safety. There are strong relationships between per capita alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm such as driver and pedestrian road injuries, accidental falls and assaults. Therefore, it is important to be able to regularly and reliably measure the level of alcohol consumed by South Australians. Alcohol sales data offer a way of estimating per capita alcohol consumption. 

    Currently there are alcohol sales data collected at the national level by the Australian Bureau of Statistics but this is limited, as it cannot tell us what is happening at a state level. South Australia and New South Wales are the only states the do not currently collect these data.

    How will the data be collected?

    It is proposed that the wholesale alcohol sales data will be collected by Consumer and Business Services, via an online portal, from records of liquor purchases made by licensees from wholesale licensees. The data will be collected at the level of the individual licence. The data will be collected annually.

    The data will be drawn from existing systems used for other alcohol sales reporting purposes and therefore will entail minimal cost to the licensees.

    What data will be collected?

    A template will be developed and will be accessible through the online portal. An example of the template can be found in Attachment 1 of the Discussion Paper.

    How will the data be kept confidential?

    Confidentiality of these data is of the upmost importance as the information is of a sensitive nature for commercial reasons.  

    The data collected by Consumer and Business Services will be de-identified prior to forwarding to Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) for analysis.

    Section 11 of the Liquor Licensing Act 1997, currently provides that the Commissioner may disclose information to authorities for the purposes of discharging duties of a public nature. If the information is in a form that does not identify the person to whom it relates the Commissioner can disclose information to any other person that the Commissioner considers appropriate in the public interest.

    What will the data be used for?

    Wholesale alcohol sales data enables the estimation of per capita alcohol consumption in South Australia as a whole but also by beverage type in particular areas of the state. This enables monitoring of emerging trends in alcohol consumption. This information can then be used for:

    • The planning and allocation of resources for enforcement, regulatory and public health programs;
    • Researching, evaluating and monitoring policies (legislative or regulatory changes) and initiatives aimed at reducing the harm caused by alcohol consumption;
    • Local government in the review of regional public health plans (under the provisions of the South Australian Public Health Act 2011);
    • The assessment of public health strategies that have been put in place to address community issues, needs and priorities;
    • Identifying specific areas and geographical locations where alcohol consumption is associated with high levels of violence, crime and disorder and which may require various supply, demand and/or harm reduction strategies to address this;
    • The development of liquor community impact submissions; assisting regulatory authorities to better assess the existing allocation of liquor licences and plan for new licence allocation;
    • The alcohol industry to make evidence-based decisions on whether additional liquor licenses are warranted in any one area.

    Are there any exemptions?

    It is recommended that criteria be developed for exemption from data collection. Tasmania and Victoria have exemptions in place for smaller producers as outlined below. Comments on exemption criteria are being sought through this consultation.




    Independent small producers. Criteria: fewer than 8,750 litres of spirits or 28,500 litres of wine or 100,000 litres of cider or 100,000 litres of beer annually


    Small wholesalers/producers. Criteria: fewer than 8,750 litres of spirits or 28,500 litres of wine or100,000 litres of cider or 100,000 litres of beer annually

    How can I make a submission to the consultation?

    Submissions are welcome via the this website or email DASSAHealthPolicy@sa.gov.au