Australia’s leading alcohol research and education body has presented NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell with a comprehensive plan to reduce alcohol-related harms in NSW.
In the wake of last week’s announcement that the NSW Government would introduce new restrictions to tackle alcohol-related violence in Kings Cross, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) has urged the Premier to go further and introduce proven measures that will result in substantial reductions in alcohol-related harms.
In addition to addressing the availability and oversupply of alcohol, the plan also advocates a ‘user pays’ model that would see late night licenced premises contribute to the cost of alcohol-related harms through the introduction of risk-based licencing fees, proposes that communities be given greater say on the availability of alcohol in their community, and calls for the introduction of appropriate transport and crowd management options in high density areas.
FARE Chief Executive, Michael Thorn says while the issue of alcohol-fuelled violence is a complex problem it is not insurmountable and called on the Premier to work with alcohol policy experts.
“FARE’s 10 Point Plan to Reduce Alcohol Harms in NSW represents a complete solution for the people and communities of NSW and I stand ready and willing to offer FARE’s assistance to the Premier,” Mr Thorn said.
While supportive of the Responsible Service of Alcohol measures announced by the Premier last week, Mr Thorn said the steps fall short of a complete solution for Kings Cross and do nothing to reduce alcohol-related harms throughout the rest of the State.
With 34 per cent of people from NSW affected by alcohol-related violence, Mr Thorn says this is not an issue limited to Kings Cross, as shown by the overwhelming majority of NSW voters who want more done to reduce the harms caused by alcohol misuse.
“The people of NSW know only too well the devastating effects of alcohol use and misuse and they also understand that those harms extend beyond the drinker and impact people in the broader community. Now is the time for the Premier to implement positive alcohol policy reforms that would address the concerns of the wider community and result in a safer and healthier NSW,” Mr Thorn said.