The Queensland Coalition for Action on Alcohol (QCAA) has welcomed the announcement by the State Government to introduce a package of measures including sought after trading hour restrictions on pubs, clubs and bottle shops.
With new data highlighting extensive alcohol harms throughout the State, QCAA Chairman Professor Jake Najman says it is timely that the Palaszczuk Government is now moving swiftly to introduce the life saving measures.
Queensland Health data on alcohol-related emergency department presentations from Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton and Mt Isa, shows a pattern of rising alcohol harms that extends beyond the major metropolitan regions in the south east of Queensland.
At Cairns Hospital, alcohol presentations have risen 35 per cent between 2009-10 and 2014-15 with the hospital recording the second highest number of alcohol-related presentations (950) in the State in 2014-15.
Welcoming the government announcement, Professor Najman says the latest data puts paid to industry efforts to suggest that regions such as Cairns are immune from alcohol harms.
“Data released today makes very clear that alcohol harms extend well beyond Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Across Queensland, alcohol-related emergency department presentations have risen over 24 per cent between 2009-10 and 2014-15. The package of measures announced today by the Palaszczuk Government which include state-wide trading hour restrictions will save lives throughout Queensland,” Professor Najman said.
Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) Chief Executive, Michael Thorn believes Queensland can lead the country on alcohol policy reform.
“I applaud the Palaszczuk Government’s announcement on trading hour restrictions. Queensland can lead the country in embracing evidence-based measures that will reduce alcohol harms and build safer and healthier communities throughout the State,” Mr Thorn said.