Election poll: Victorian voters demand action on alcohol-fuelled violence

A majority of Victorians think the State Government should be doing more to address alcohol-related harms and want party leaders to outline their plans to address alcohol-related harms prior to the upcoming election.

Victorians are most concerned by the Government’s failure to address alcohol related violence, with 77 per cent saying the Napthine Government should be doing more to prevent alcohol–related street violence, 76 per cent stating the government should be doing more to reduce alcohol-related family and domestic violence and 73% believe the Government should be doing more to reduce risky alcohol consumption among underage drinkers.

The polling conducted by Galaxy Research, on behalf of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), also found that three in four Victorian voters (75%) would like the party leaders to outline their plan to address alcohol-related harms prior to next month’s State election.

However, in an apparent vote of no confidence, Victorians don’t seem to think either of the major parties are up to the task.

Only 17 per cent of voters believe the Coalition would be best at reducing alcohol-related harms, 16 per cent the Labor Party, and ten per cent the Greens, with the majority of Victorians (57%) uncommitted.

FARE Chief Executive Michael Thorn is not surprised by the result.

“It’s no surprise that Victorians are unsure as to which party would be best to reduce alcohol harms, because to date, the two major parties have remained silent on the issue. Disappointingly, only weeks out from an election we still don’t know what, if any, meaningful action the parties are prepared to take in order to address this issue. What we do know is that an overwhelming majority of Victorian voters, three out of every four, are calling on Denis Napthine and Daniel Andrews to step forward before the election and put their plans on the table,” Mr Thorn said.

The polling also found concern within the community that political parties are influenced by the alcohol industry, with those holding that view (44%) outnumbering those that didn’t (20%) more than two to one, while the remainder of Victorians polled (36%) did not know.

Mr Thorn says the polling should serve as a wake-up call to the Government and the Opposition.

“Victoria has more alcohol licenses than any other state or territory in Australia and this is contributing to significant harms including three deaths, 18 assaults and 81 hospitalisations each day. Voters are all too aware of these harms and are starting to question the government’s failure to reduce them,” Mr Thorn said.

“What is needed are measures to address availability and alcohol-related violence including 3am last drinks, a 10pm close for packaged liquor outlets, and a continued freeze on the granting of new liquor licences. The message to the major parties ahead of the election is crystal clear. Voters want a commitment to action on alcohol and they want both parties to outline what they intend to do to reduce the harms.”

FARE is an informed media source and a well-respected voice on the global science relating to alcohol and its impact on society.

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