The discussion over whether convenience stores should be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages has taken a new turn, with media outlets refreshing the debate with ample coverage over the weekend.
Last year the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) made a submission to the Senate’s ‘Red Tape’ committee, which is due for review by the end of March, sparking media interest in the upcoming results.
The Herald Sun reported on Saturday that convenience stores were “making a bold push” to sell alcohol and compete with the supermarket majors, however Mr Rogut said this story was a hangover from late last year, and that numerous media organisations had approached him throughout the weekend.
Mr Rogut said the weekend’s coverage of the issue was unprecedented.
“Theres a lot more interest at the moment because of the business opportunity with the government talking about red tape and competition,” he said.
“Instances and opportunities like this [selling alcohol] are being stifled by red tape and lack of competition.
“It hasn’t been exposed to the degree of this Telegraph article… this is the first major story to go national.”
Mr Rogut said he anticipated a response to the AACS submission by the end of March, and that he was happy about the media coverage in the lead up to that.
With tobacco already a staple of the industry, AACS has argued that the responsible way in which the convenience sector has handled the sale of such legal drugs is an indicator of the potential for greater growth and competition in alcohol retailing if red tape is cut in this area.