Bound and gagged – NSW liquor licensing silences community objections
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 availabilityAlcohol 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 and promotionAlcohol 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.
Community engagementNavigating 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.
A credibility gap is emerging in Newcastle City Council’s (NCC) response to the NSW government review of our life-saving package of alcohol laws. NCC’s submission says it is a “leader in collaborative (alcohol law) reforms and strategy”.
ClubsACT acting chief executive Gwyn Rees was quick to the barricades to fight for the rights of Canberra’s pubs and clubs to serve alcohol between 3am and 5am.