Australia has now entered its eighth year without a National Alcohol Strategy, just as figures show the number of alcohol-related deaths a year is approaching 6,000. However, the toll of alcohol on Australian families extends well beyond deaths – to street violence in popular night spots, injury from falls and road crashes, the drag on Australia’s economy through time lost and ill-health, and the enormous impact on families through domestic violence, child neglect and dysfunction, particularly in First Nations communities.
The consumption of alcohol makes a significant contribution to the burden of chronic disease in Australia, with the total cost now exceeding $27 billion annually. This reflects the broader failure of Australian governments to adopt strong preventive health policies to arrest this growing burden.
The sum of this is that families are being exposed to too much alcohol, putting them at risk of harm in both the short and long term.
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education’s (FARE) Election Platform outlines four actions to prioritise in the next term of government. These actions are focused on enabling consumer choice and protecting children’s safety and health.
Include specific actions in the Fourth Action Plan on family violence in order to reduce the severity and frequency of alcohol’s involvement in family violence incidents and ensure women and children’s safety.