The Alcohol Policy Coalition today welcomed the
Victorian Planning Minister's extension of a cap on late night liquor licenses to
areas beyond the CBD. Nearly 750 Melbourne
venues serve alcohol past 1am, with 140 able to trade for 24hours, meaning
there is no need to add more late night licenses.
"The state government and local councils are
already struggling to rein in Victoria's $4.3 billion drinking problem,
so the Minister's cap makes a lot of sense," said Professor Robin Room,
Director, Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Turning Point.
shows that extended trading hours of licensed outlets increases the number of
alcohol-related problems, such as violence and other anti-social behaviour.
More assaults occur on Friday or Saturday nights when alcohol is available right
through the night. New late night licenses will only increase the problem.
"Melbourne is a 24hour,
cosmopolitan city, so it's natural for people to be out at all hours, but that
doesn't mean alcohol needs to fuel these activities. Taking a break from alcohol
sales at 3am means we can reduce the burden from costs to emergency services,
police and the health system," said Professor Room.
Alcohol Policy Coalition has called for an end to alcohol sales beyond 3am in
licensed venues and no later than 11pm in packaged liquor outlets.
we support this freeze, it's crucial that the government doesn't forget about
late-trading bottle-shops. Closing bottle shops by 11pm will help solve
problems like pre and post-loading, further reducing alcohol-related harm."
alone, alcohol-related harms have increased dramatically in the last two
decades as the number of alcohol stores has gone up. The number of drunken
16-17year olds presenting to emergency rooms has increased by 33% for males and
66% for females since 1999.
Alcohol Policy Coalition encourages local councils to share their views with
the Planning Minister, so the community can have their voice heard.
The Alcohol Policy
Coalition is a collaboration of health agencies - Australian Drug Foundation,
Cancer Council Victoria, Heart Foundation (Victoria), Turning Point Alcohol and
Drug Centre and VicHealth - with shared concern relating to the misuse of
alcohol and its health/social impacts on the community.