Anger at Aldi cheap beer plan

A Hunter community support organisation has expressed anger at discount supermarket giant Aldi’s decision to begin stocking its shelves with cheap beer from next year.

The German retailer has been granted 34 liquor licences across NSW to sell beer, wine, spirits and mixed drinks alongside traditional grocery items with beers selling for as little as $1.

Wesley Mission Newcastle regional manager Greg Colby said making alcohol more accessible was a recipe for disaster.

‘‘We don’t support anything that makes it easier for people who have problems with alcohol to access liquor,’’ Mr Colby said.

He said he had clients in areas such as Hamilton, which has an Aldi store, who were suffering from problems associated with alcohol.

He said some of the issues associated with alcohol and intoxication include domestic violence, crime, unemployment and lost days at work.

‘‘In the strongest way possible I urge Aldi to rethink their position,’’ Mr Colby said.

NSW Health reportedly objected to the liquor applications in nine out of 11 Aldi applications lodged before August including Hamilton, Green Hills and Raymond Terrace.

Aldi spokeswoman Libby Hay said: ‘‘When you compare Dan Murphy’s and First Choice Liquor, we are certainly not on the scale of those stores.’’

Aldi has been selling alcohol through its stores since 2007 in the ACT and since 2003 in Victoria.

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