The comprehensive package of alcohol reforms announced by the Northern Territory Labor Government have been welcomed and endorsed by the nation’s leading alcohol research and policy centre.
Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education Chief Executive, Michael Thorn says the reforms announced today to tackle alcohol fuelled violence and crime, represent a historic opportunity to address the Territory’s number one social issue – the unacceptable level of alcohol harm that has ravaged the NT for generations.
“FARE together with public health advocates, doctors and law enforcement have long argued for an evidence-based approach to tackling what is simply an unacceptable and devastating level of alcohol harm in the Northern Territory. The Labor Government is to be congratulated for putting the evidence, and in turn, the health, welfare and safety of the people of the NT first, and ahead of all other interests,” Mr Thorn said.
Mr Thorn says that the Territory Government has also recognised that the significant benefits of a Minimum Unit Price simply cannot be ignored.
“We know that a minimum unit price is a highly targeted intervention that will decrease consumption by the heaviest drinkers and in turn, reduce assaults, alcohol –related hospitalisations and deaths. We also know for a fact that it will have little effect on moderate drinkers, either on their consumption levels or expenditure,” Mr Thorn said.
Mr Thorn says that it is important that the Government gets the policy settings right to ensure their continued success, but is confident the Government will commit to robust evaluation, on-going monitoring and continued engagement with the experts working in the area of alcohol harm reduction.