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The majority (83 per cent) of NSW adults believe more needs to be done to prevent alcohol harm and that governments, and politicians (including local governments) have an obligation to protect their citizens against agents of harm, including alcohol. We have made significant progress in tackling late-night alcohol fuelled violence through the introduction of evidence-based trading hours restrictions designed to minimise harm while allowing people to still enjoy the nightlife on offer. Now it is time to turn our attention to the many other aspects of alcohol harm.
We have not got the balance right. Communities are bombarded by alcohol ads daily and receive no alternative health messaging, making the industry message the dominant message. Alarmingly, underage children, intoxicated persons and dependent drinkers can buy alcohol online at a fraction of the price through AfterPay type services and receive it in a matter of minutes, often without checking identification. There has also been a proliferation of online liquor retailers, which remain virtually unregulated under the current regime.
The normalisation of alcohol in Australian culture distracts from the enormity of the problem. The NSW Parliament to adopt evidence-based policies to prevent alcohol harm, and ensure the NSW community is a safe, vibrant and healthy one.
The NSW and ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA) is an alliance of health, community, emergency services and research organisations that has been formed with the objective of promoting evidence-based actions to prevent and reduce acute and chronic alcohol-related harms.
The Alliance provides a shared voice for organisations in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in response to the issues of alcohol-related harms in their jurisdictions.
It has a number of roles including to:
- Develop and support effective alcohol policy reform in NSW and the ACT and ensure that agreed alcohol policy is better promoted, evaluated and sustained across both jurisdictions.
- Advocate for evidence-based alcohol policy reforms to address the increasing concerns of alcohol-related harms in NSW and the ACT.
- Identify research gaps in NSW and the ACT in regards to addressing alcohol-related harms and continue to build on the evidence-base to support alcohol policy reform.
- Facilitate coordinated policy, advocacy and research for organisations concerned with alcohol-related harms in NSW and the ACT.
- Lead the public debate on alcohol-related policy issues in the NSW and the ACT.
Our Policy Priorities
NAAPA’s policy priorities are focused on three areas where the NSW and ACT Governments can have the greatest influence in reducing alcohol-related harms. These are:
Alcohol is more available than it ever has been, contributing to significant levels of harm. Reducing the availability of alcohol through reducing trading hours and the density of liquor outlets are effective policies to reduce alcohol harms.
ALCOHOL PRICING & PROMOTION
Alcohol is more affordable than it has been in three decades and more heavily promoted than ever before. Prohibiting the reckless promotion of alcohol, including extreme price discounting are effective polices to reduce alcohol harms.
Navigating the liquor licensing and planning systems is complex, making it difficult for the community to make complaints and object to new liquor licenses. Support is needed for communities to have a greater say on the way that alcohol is made available in their neighbourhoods.