The NSW and ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA) says the New South Wales Government can no longer ignore rising alcohol harms and heightened community concerns and must immediately introduce effective alcohol policy reforms.
The message was delivered today at the 2013 NSW Alcohol Summit. Attended by over 180 people including more than 20 NSW politicians, the Summit, brought together health professionals, community representatives, law enforcement officials, researchers, frontline workers and State politicians.
A reflection of the momentum for action to reduce alcohol harms in NSW, and to the importance being given to the Summit, Minister for Mental Health, Mr Kevin Humphries joined Leader of the Opposition, Mr John Robertson and Dr John Kaye, Greens NSW Health Spokesperson on a panel to discuss their position on alcohol policy.
NSW Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch, and Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority Chairperson, Mr Chris Sidoti also delivered keynote addresses.
With key indicators clearly showing how alcohol harms have risen alarmingly in the last ten years, Summit host, the NSW and ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA), called on the NSW Government to embrace proven, evidence based policies to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harms.
NAAPA spokesman, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education Chief Executive Michael Thorn says the cost of rising alcohol harms on individuals, families and communities throughout NSW is too high.
“The message for the NSW Government is a simple one. Existing Government measures have failed and with alcohol harms rising alarmingly, NSW cannot afford another lost decade. We are calling on the Government to introduce effective, evidence-based policies that target the availability, price and promotion of alcohol and have an immediate impact on reducing alcohol harms across the State,” Mr Thorn said.
Released at the Summit’s conclusion, the 2013 NSW Alcohol Summit Communique calls on the NSW Government to introduce measures to address the availability, price and promotion of alcohol. Measures are also needed to ensure the general public and those directly impacted by the dangerous oversupply of alcohol are given the opportunity to comment on and raise concerns regarding applications for new premises or variations to licences.