Brewers, wine and spirit makers, hotels and clubs have joined forces to lobby the federal government to freeze tax on alcohol.
If they are successful, it would be the first time in 37 years that Australians have been spared automatic six-monthly excise increases on having a drink.
The industry groups say the tax freeze would give hospitality venues a better chance of recovery from the impact of the coronavirus.
The hospitality sector has been one of the hardest-hit industries with hundreds of thousands of jobs lost.
And they will be among the last businesses to be allowed to fully open.
The groups say consumers would benefit from freezing the six-monthly indexation of alcohol excise duty rates from August 1, with the pause applying for 12 months.
It could be done immediately by way of the “excise tariff proposal” process.
Brewers Association of Australia chief Brett Heffernan told AAP it was the wrong time to put further pressure the sector, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison should act.
“The last thing people need is for beer tax to go up again in August,” he said.
“If we’re to fire the starter’s gun on the economy we have to dump the excise baggage.”
Australians pay the fourth-highest beer tax in the industrialised world, with a further 10 per cent GST on top.
On a typical $52 carton of beer, $22.05 is tax.