High-profile media campaigns urging the public to drink responsibly are far less effective than reducing density of alcohol outlets, restricting trading hours and increasing taxes, he argues.
But despite international evidence proving the success of such measures, the industry is not supportive.
"I don't think it helps that the Federal Government put $5 million into Drinkwise, an industry-funded organisation meant to educate the public about responsible alcohol use. Fundamentally, the industry's interest is in channelling any concerns about alcohol into strategies that won't affect their bottom line," said Professor Room.
Breaking down Federal Government guidelines on safe drinking by age group has also been suggested.
The guidelines recommend no more than four standard drinks a day and no more than 28 standard drinks over a week for men. Women should have an average of no more than two a day and no more than 14 over a week. One or two alcohol-free days a week are recommended.
"The national guidelines are based on people of average size under 65. As people get older, their body mass and muscle decline and they may well be in ill health and on medication. Should the national guidelines apply? We don't know," said Professor Steve Allsop, director of the National Drug Research Institute.
There are no separate guidelines for children, who are advised to refer to adult levels.
"There really shouldn't be drinking among children or pregnant women, particularly in that first trimester," said Professor John Toumbourou, from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute. "Those things are all contested but the weight of evidence is very strong that we should be setting up policies to very much reduce those exposures," he said.
Results of a routine review of the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines, last updated in 2001, are expected later this year. New guidelines reflecting concern over foetal alcohol syndrome are expected, as are a review of safe drinking levels by age category.
Alex Wodak, the president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, believes a volumetric tax system based on alcohol content would reduce the popularity of stronger beverages such as cask wine with the most vulnerable heavy drinkers.
Hypothecated tax, where as little as 0.01 per cent is put back into alcohol prevention and treatment, has also been suggested, as have restrictions on discounting tactics by major liquor chains.
The way alcohol is marketed has also come under fire.
Brian Kearney, chief executive of the Australian Hotels Association Victoria, said the industry was committed to a reduction in the abuse of alcohol. He said statistics commissioned by the Distilled Spirits Industry Council show a decrease in teenage binge drinking.
But Wayne Hall, former director of the National Drug Alcohol Research Centre, is not convinced. "Their profitability depends on binge drinking and alcohol abuse and that's something they and the Government have been very reluctant to acknowledge," he said.
"If you speak out on the issue you get branded a wowser or a neo-prohibitionist or someone who's denying that there are benefits from alcohol use . . . You don't win friends in Government by saying it."