Time to move on Liquor Act review

The recently formed NSW & ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA) has raised concerns over the NSW Government’s failure to commence a five-year statutory review of the Liquor Act 2007.

The review of the Act must be conducted and tabled in Parliament by the end of the year, but with no announcement forthcoming, NAAPA, has questioned the Government’s commitment to a thorough review.

NAAPA has today also announced plans for a day?long Alcohol Summit at Parliament House NSW on March 14 to examine solutions to better address alcohol-related harms.

Formed in December 2012, NAAPA is an alliance of 30 health, community, law enforcement emergency services and research organisations working to promote evidence-based actions to prevent alcohol-related harms in NSW and the ACT.

Michael Thorn, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) warns that further delays in announcing the review of the Liquor Act will place the consultation process in jeopardy.

“If the NSW Government wants to demonstrate its commitment to genuine and broad public consultation it needs to commence the review immediately. If the Government genuinely means to take heed of a wide range of stakeholders beyond just the loud and influential alcohol industry lobby then a thorough and exhaustive review process should have commenced at the beginning of the year,” Mr Thorn said.

Next month’s 2013 NSW & ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance Summit comes in response to growing levels of concern amongst community leaders, experts, doctors and emergency service workers on the frontline that NSW is failing to implement measures that could reduce the State’s growing burden from alcohol use and misuse.

Representatives from the NSW Government, Labor and the Greens have been invited to attend the Summit, which comes ten years after the Carr Government’s 2003 Alcohol Summit.

Director for the Centre for Health Initiatives at the University of Wollongong, Professor Sandra Jones says the Summit will provide an important opportunity to chart a more effective alcohol policy course for the State.

“The 2013 Summit represents a chance to further press the case for the introduction of real solutions to prevent alcohol–related harms, and an opportunity to ensure this issue remains front and centre on the Government’s agenda,” Professor Jones said.

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