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Following public outcry over the violent and senseless deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie and severe injury to a number of other young people in Sydney’s CBD, life-saving alcohol control measures were introduced to the city in 2014.
Since their introduction, we’ve seen a dramatic reductions in non-domestic violence, especially in entertainment precincts, reduced rates of alcohol-related serious injury, and a 60 per cent reduction in serious facial injuries requiring surgery.
And safety and vibrancy aren’t mutually exclusive. Sydney has the strongest and most concentrated night-time economy in Australia. In fact, employment and revenue in the Sydney night-time economy have not once decreased since 2011.
Yet despite the effectiveness of the measures and their widespread community support, there are those who seek to demolish these life-saving protections.
During recent NSW Legislative Council debate about Sydney’s lockout laws, Hon Robert Borsak of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party made a series of false and misleading claims about the alcohol control measures when introducing his Liquor Legislation Amendment (Repeal of the Lockout Laws) Bill 2018.
Mr Borsak is propagating a dangerous fiction, attempting to derail Sydney’s new vibrancy, threaten community health and safety, and put the city’s frontline emergency workers back in the firing line again.
Any repeal of the 2014 measures would shift the balance back to ‘violence over vibrancy’ and a return to the devastating toll that we know harms all of us.
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.