Making NSW safe, vibrant and healthy
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. It is time for the next NSW Parliament to adopt evidence-based policies to prevent alcohol harm, and ensure the NSW community is a safe, vibrant and healthy one.
This Election Platform sets out a measured program of action to reduce the unacceptable toll of alcohol harm across NSW, and NAAPA call on the Government, Opposition, The Greens and other political parties to declare their commitment to prioritising these policies to achieve a healthier and safer NSW.
1. Keep streets and homes safe from alcohol harm
- Establish density controls, up to and including temporary moratoriums on new liquor licences in areas deemed to be high-risk, and map areas of high density and high alcohol harm.
- Establish a digital notification service that community members can subscribe to that will provide regular updates about the lodgement and progress of liquor licence applications.
- Strengthen the suite of late-night measures in Sydney’s CBD, Kings Cross and Newcastle precincts to keep people safe.
- Apply earlier last drinks conditions and make the late-night measures state-wide so that all of NSW can benefit from the improved safety, amenity and diversity.
- Make alcohol harm minimisation the primary object of the Liquor Act 2007 and ensure equal consideration is given to the risk of harm, adverse social and cultural effects, adverse health effects and risk of domestic violence and/or anti-social behavior
- Shift the burden of proof that the cumulative impact of the licence will not cause harm to the community onto the applicant and ensure that an absence of input from government agency is not classified as deemed approval.
2. Support healthy choices and raise awareness of preventable chronic disease
- Conduct a NSW-wide alcohol harm awareness campaign focusing on the long-term harm of regular alcohol consumption, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and dementia – $30 million over four years.
3. Strengthen the regulation of online liquor sales
- Establish a moratorium on all online liquor licences until a thorough review of all online sales has been undertaken of the health, safety and community wellbeing consequences of this rapidly growing alcohol market segment.
- Ensure online deliveries are subject to strong responsible service of alcohol conditions and require all deliveries of alcoholic products are received by a person over 18 years of age, and that verification of identity is sighted by an employee or agent of the licensee.
- Require licence details to be displayed on websites providing online alcohol sales and promotions.
- Ensure orders of alcohol made through online retailers are not delivered within 12 hours of order confirmation and that alcohol cannot be sold by food delivery services.
- Ban the use of ‘buy now, pay later’ services for alcohol including Afterpay, Zip Pay and other layby type payment services.
4. Create healthy environments by restricting alcohol marketing
- Protect children from the saturation marketing of unhealthy commodities by banning outdoor alcohol advertising on public transport and other government property.
- Strengthen the NSW Liquor Promotion Guidelines to include restrictions on the placement of alcohol promotions where children and young people are likely to be exposed including banning promotions near a primary or secondary school, defined by the average walking distance of NSW children to school.
- Mandate health messages about alcohol consumption to be used on all forms of alcohol marketing and displayed as signage at the point of sale.
- Introduce health advisory messages to appear alongside marketing material, which make up a minimum of 20 per cent of the advertisement space to ensure consumers are provided with alternative health messaging.
NAAPA ELECTION PLATFORM MEDIA RELEASES
URGENT ELECTION PRIORITY: CATCH-UP REGULATION MAKING ‘ONLINE ALCOHOL’ SAFER
9 January 2019: Uber Eats and other food delivery services would be banned from selling alcohol; buying alcohol would not be possible via AfterPay or similar ‘buy now pay later’ services; and online alcohol deliveries would be next-day only, under an Election Platform designed to make NSW safer and healthier.
One of four reforms proposed today by the NSW/ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA), these measures would assist law-makers to address the rapidly growing online alcohol market, which, according to IBIS World, is expanding at the rate of 11 per cent per year.
ALCOHOL DEATHS: COUNTRY NSW HIT HARDEST BUT RESIDENTS ARE THE LEAST PROTECTED
9 January 2019: Life in drought-affected NSW is tough going, where the harms from alcohol misuse cause deep-level tragedy for people living in regional, rural and remote communities.
The NSW/ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA) has put alcohol-fuelled harm on the 2019 NSW election agenda; revealing the toll from alcohol is far worse outside metropolitan areas than in renowned city hotspots and calling for earlier closing times in major regional centres.
“Regional, rural and remote communities experience disproportionate levels of alcohol harm, with domestic assaults 12-times higher in rural and remote regions compared to NSW as a whole,” said NAAPA spokesperson Tony Brown, from Newcastle University.