Under the influence: Political donations
Victorian political parties received more than $900,000 in political donations from the alcohol industry over the last three years, prompting concerns that the industry is exerting undue influence in order to prevent politicians from prioritising alcohol harm reduction measures.
Only days out from the Victorian State Election, neither the Liberal National Coalition or the Labor Party have committed to meaningful policy measures to address Victoria’s heavy alcohol toll, which includes three deaths, 18 assaults and 81 hospitalisations every day.
A new report released by FARE analysed Australian Electoral Commission records of declared donations, and showed that the alcohol industry is gifting sizeable sums to Victorian political parties. Most of the donations from the alcohol industry went to Victorian Liberals ($546,042), followed by Victorian Labor ($298,107) and the Victorian Nationals ($57,680).
The alcohol policy scorecard results are in
The Liberal National Coalition and Labor Party have received a fail grade following an assessment of their commitment to alcohol policy measures in the lead up to the Victorian State Election, with the parties indicating full support for only one of ten proposed policy measures. Earlier last month the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) wrote to the four major parties contesting the Victoria state election, and requested a response to ten alcohol policy questions. Responses were received from all four parties, with only the Greens expressing any appetite for alcohol policy reform, supporting eight of the ten measures in full and partially supporting the remaining two.
New poll findings
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.
Action is immediately needed in Victoria if we are to see a reduction in the alcohol toll.Alcohol harms in Victoria are significant and increasing. Each day, there are an average of three deaths, 18 assaults and 81 hospital admissions attributed to alcohol.
Before Victorians cast their votes in November, they deserve to know whether the State Government or Opposition are prepared to embrace strong evidence-based policy measures – such as those that target the availability, promotion and affordability of alcohol – that would reduce alcohol harms and save lives.
New Victorian harms data has again highlighted that alcohol is Victoria’s most harmful drug.The Latest Harms Data
The latest available data (2012/13) examines harm indicators including hospital admissions, ambulance attendances and emergency department presentations.
Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education Chief Executive, Michael Thorn says the latest data has again confirmed that the harms from alcohol continue to be of a far greater magnitude than all illicit drugs combined, and called on all political parties to demonstrate their commitment to meaningful measures to address the toll ahead of the up-coming Victorian election.
You can help raise awareness of Victoria’s increasing alcohol harms and encourage candidates in the up-coming election to declare their party’s position on key alcohol policy issues by distributing this page amongst your networks.
We also encourage you to get involved on social media by sharing the below infographics and tagging Victorian MP’s.
“The latest data is further evidence of the extent of alcohol harms in Victoria. Emergency department presentations for alcohol are more than six times greater than those for illicit drugs, and we see ten times more alcohol related deaths than deaths from other drugs. As the Victorian election fast approaches, I again call on the Government and Opposition to acknowledge the problem and to stand up and tell the people of Victoria what they intend to do, if elected, to address it.”
Michael Thorn, Chief Executive, FARE
Newly released Victorian data has revealed the State’s alcohol harms remain extensive and are continuing to rise in the absence of effective Government intervention.
The state of play: Alcohol in Victoria, a recent report by FARE, shows that alcohol harms are rising across the board.
Alcohol is responsible for three deaths, 18 assaults, 81 hospital admissions and 22 ambulance attendances every single day.
Andrew Fairley: Victoria lacking leadership on alcohol harms
Chairman of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, and proud Victorian resident, Andrew Fairley is deeply concerned by the unacceptable and devastating toll of alcohol harms in his home State.
The damning report released by FARE last week shows that alcohol harms in Victoria are extensive and continuing to rise. With the Victorian election drawing near, Andrew has emphasised the need for strong leadership on alcohol harms:
“Alcohol harms are increasing, not because there is no solution to the problem, but rather because of a lack of will and courage on the part of both major parties to address the problem in a meaningful way. The financial and personal cost to individuals, families and communities, to Government and to individual tax payers is simply now too great to bear, and impossible to ignore.”
Election platform from international policy experts
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol (KBS) recently hosted a ‘Reducing alcohol harms: A global perspective’ public forum event in Melbourne. World leading researchers from England, Ireland, South Africa, the United States, Canada, Finland, New Zealand and Australia shared their research on alcohol attitudes, behaviours and legislation in their home countries.
Our international experts also had an opportunity to try their hand at local politics with a panel session. Panellists put forth a case for what they would do to address alcohol harms if elected Premier of Victoria in the upcoming State election, with some very thought provoking and entertaining results!
For full coverage of the event visit: Reducing alcohol harms: A global perspective