Skip to content
Curtin University
National Drug Research Institute

Preventing Harmful Drug Use In Australia

National Alcohol Sales Data Project

Effective alcohol policy is informed and reviewed in the context of the best available evidence about levels and patterns of use. Such information is crucial to intelligence-led policing, to health service responses and to the evaluation of adopted strategies. In response to the then-Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy highlighting the absence of systematic Australia-wide alcohol sales data collection, the Australian Government funded the WA Drug and Alcohol Office and the National Drug Research Institute to develop the National Alcohol Sales Data Project (NASDP).

Alcohol sales data, collected for taxation purposes or by wholesaler or retailer record keeping, allow researchers to estimate alcohol consumption. Trends in the extent and patterns of alcohol consumption demonstrate the effectiveness of policy changes, and there are strong relationships between per capita consumption and alcohol-related harms such as road crashes, accidental falls and assaults. Per capita consumption is a reliable proxy for the percentage of heavy drinkers in a population.

NASDP Stage Five Report, 2016 Stage Five Report (pdf)

NASDP Stage Five, 2016

The fifth NASDP reported per capita consumption estimates of 13.3 litres in the Northern Territory for 2011/12, 11.9 litres in Western Australia for 2011/12 and 11.0 litres in Queensland for 2012/13. Consumption in the Northern Territory continues to decrease, in Western Australia there was a decrease from the preceding year and Queensland remains relatively stable. This report presents new regional data and data from previous reports at Statistical Area Level 3 to match the new geographical framework introduced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In 2015, Victoria became the fifth jurisdiction to introduce an alcohol sales data collection (data not available in time to be included).

NASDP Stage Four Report 2012 Stage Four Full Report (pdf) Stage Four Bulletin (pdf)

NASDP Stage Four, 2014

The fourth NASDP report found that per capita consumption estimates for 2010/11 were 13.30 litres in the Northern Territory, 13.24 litres in Western Australia and 10.91 litres in Queensland. Consumption in the Northern Territory had continued to decrease, while in Western Australia it had continued to increase. Queensland remained relatively stable. All three jurisdictions were above the national per capita consumption estimate of 10.30 litres published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The report welcomed the Australian Capital Territory to the NASDP, the fourth jurisdiction to introduce an alcohol sales data collection.

NASDP Stage Three Report 2012 Stage Three Report (pdf)

NASDP Stage Three, 2012

The third NASDP report found that in the Northern Territory each individual age 15 years plus consumed an estimated 13.73 litres of alcohol in 2009/10. This figure was lower than the preceding 4 years, but higher than the national average of 10.27 litres. For Queensland, an estimated 11.03 litres of alcohol were consumed per person in 2009/10, representing the lowest average consumption of the three states. An average of 12.37 litres of alcohol were consumed by each individual in Western Australia in 2009/10, up from the preceding year and higher than the national average. WA's rising alcohol consumption may be related to economic growth and its impact of increasing affordability of alcohol.

NASDP Stage Two Report 2011 Stage Two Report (pdf)

NASDP Stage Two, 2011

The second NASDP Report found that estimated alcohol consumption in the Northern Territory in 2008/09 was 14.05 litres of pure alcohol per individual aged 15 plus, higher than the national average but less than each of the preceding three years. The overall estimated alcohol consumption for Queensland for 2008/09 was 10.69 litres of pure alcohol, and in Western Australia the figure was 11.21 litres. Interestingly, the introduction of the 'alcopops tax' in 2008 decreased consumption of alcopops to such an extent that overall consumption of alcohol decreased for the first time in four years.

NASDP Stage One Report 2009 Stage One Report (pdf)

NASDP Stage One, 2009

This first NASDP report includes alcohol sales from the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. In every case, estimated per capita consumption exceeded ABS estimates for the nation as a whole. The report found that estimated alcohol consumption in the Northern Territory from 2005/06 to 2007/08 was 14.5-15 litres of pure alcohol per individual aged 15 plus. The overall estimated alcohol consumption for Queensland for 2007/08 was 11.07 litres and in Western Australia, the estimated per capita consumption was 12.5 litres.