Earlier closing times can reduce harm
The Alcohol Policy Coalition (APC) today called on all Victorian political parties to introduce key liquor licensing reforms, including earlier closing times and alcohol service restrictions, as part of its newly launched election policy platform for the 2014 State election, "Five steps to a safer, healthier Victoria".
APC spokesperson, Dr Stephen Parnis, President of AMA (Victoria), said: "We are calling on the Government and Opposition to prioritise the implementation of effective alcohol policies that improve
public health and safety and reduce harm."
Evidence shows that strategies which reduce availability of liquor, including reducing trading hours, can have significant impacts in reducing the level of harm caused by alcohol.
"We are calling on all the parties to commit to introducing restrictions on service, so that alcohol is no longer served in pubs and clubs after 3am, together with a range of supportive measures to reduce the social, physical and mental harm caused by alcohol," Dr Parnis said.
APC spokesperson, Sam Biondo, Executive Officer of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association said: "Alcohol related harm-which includes assaults and chronic diseases-continues to be a
significant issue for the Victorian community. While Victoria has taken some steps forward, namely risk-based licencing, we know that more action is required."
Alcohol remains a major cause of preventable death and illness across the state.
This is something we have to change.
APC spokesperson, Todd Harper, CEO of Cancer Council Victoria said: "An important part of changing our harmful drinking culture is implementing proven and effective alcohol policy reforms, including reducing exposure of young people to alcohol advertising, because of the link between advertising and harmful drinking in young people, " he said.
"New research by Cancer Council Victoria shows 77% of Victorians surveyed approved or strongly approved of alcohol advertising restrictions to reduce exposure among people aged 18 and younger.
This is another key strategy in our five step action plan to reduce alcohol-related harm in Victoria."
To view the full five step action plan, visit www.alcoholpolicycoalition.org.au .
Five Step Action Plan for a Safer, Healthier Victoria
For media enquiries please contact Cairin Conway on 0406 524 562 or Rebecca Cook on 0438 316 435.
The Alcohol Policy Coalition (APC) is a collaboration of health and social agencies - Australian Drug Foundation, Australian Medical Association (Victoria), Cancer Council Victoria, Public Health Association of Australia (Victoria), the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Turning Point, the Uniting Church-Synod of Victoria and Tasmania and the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association - with shared concern relating to the misuse of alcohol and its health/social impacts on the community. Alcohol remains one of the major causes of preventable death and illness in Australia. As such, the APC advocates for evidence based policy to prevent and reduce the harms caused by alcohol to Australians. For more information, visit www.alcoholpolicycoalition.org.au .