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.
The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) is undertaking an unjustified review of the Newcastle special licence conditions. It is critical that we continue to defend these measures to maintain prevention of alcohol-fuelled street violence.
NAAPA made a submission to the review on 7 February 2018. Our submission made the case to maintain the existing measures, outlining the following:
- The Newcastle conditions have been successful in reducing harm
- Safer streets and venues have led to a more diversified economy in Newcastle
- Exemptions undermine the effectiveness and integrity of good policy
- The Sydney measures will create risks for Newcastle
- Increasing the sale of rapid consumption beverages increases the likelihood of harm
- There is strong community support for the Newcastle conditions
- Community safety must be prioritised over vested industry interests
About the review
This review is unprecedented and has been secretly orchestrated by the Australian Hotels Association of NSW (AHA NSW) in an attempt to get rid of the measures.
The ILGA has made it apparent that it will not be making submissions public until after the report has been handed down. This lack of transparency is deeply concerning and is not in the best interest of the local community. It brings into question the legitimacy in which the review is being conducted and whether the submissions will be made public at all.
ILGA has appointed barrister Jonathan Horton QC to conduct the review. Mr Horton was Counsel Assisting for the Callinan Review (NSW Liquor Laws). The terms of reference can be found on the ILGA website.
About the Newcastle Conditions
On 14 March 2008, the then Liquor Administration Board (LAB) imposed special conditions on 14 licences in the Newcastle CBD. The main conditions were 1:30am lockouts and 3:30am closure times. This was following conferences held under the Liquor Act 1982 in response to concerns regarding violence, anti-social behaviour and disturbance complaints. For more information on the conditions and a list of the venues please visit the Liquor & Gaming NSW information sheet.
The Newcastle measures have been central in NAAPA’s advocacy of restrictions to pub and club trading hours to prevent alcohol-fuelled street violence.
Because the Newcastle measures have been thoroughly reviewed by researchers from Newcastle University, John Hunter Hospital and other Australian institutes showing a direct relationship between their implementation and the sustained and overwhelming reduction in night-time assaults.
The Newcastle conditions are recognised internationally for their proven positive effect on reducing alcohol-related harm. We are calling on all Newcastle and NSW community members to act in their defence.
Sign the petition today to maintain the Newcastle conditions and lend your support to Newcastle’s frontline staff of paramedics, police officers, nurses and doctors by keeping Newcastle’s streets safe.
Campaigning by NAAPA in the run up to the 2014/15 NSW State Election results in a number of significant wins.
As a result of the Not one more campaign the returned NSW Government to commit to four of NAAPA’s election priorities. These commitments were to fund a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Clinic out of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, to review the flawed Community Impact Statement scheme that guides liquor licensing approvals, to continue the ban on receiving political donations from the alcohol industry and to move the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing from the Department of Trade and Investment to the Department of Justice.
If you want detail on each one they are below:
Dedicated FASD Clinic
During the NSW election, the Government announced that it would fund a dedicated FASD Clinic as part of Centre for the Prevention of Harm to Children and Adolescents from Drugs and Alcohol, at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. This is a significant achievement as it is the first dedicated Government funded FASD Clinic in Australia.
Review of the Community Impact Statement scheme
A review of the CIS scheme, will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to have input in how a system should be developed that assesses the true social impact of a liquor licence which can have a dramatic impact on the density of liquor outlets and subsequent reduction in harms. NAAPA will engage in this review process to ensure that communities have a greater voice in the way that alcohol is made available in their neighbourhoods.
Maintaining the ban on alcohol industry political donations
The NSW Government reaffirmed their commitment to maintain the ban on political donations from the alcohol industry under the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Act 1981. This policy assists in limiting the influence of vested interests in policy decisions.
Moving the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing to the Department of Justice
The NSW Government has re-located the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) from the Department of Trade and Investment to the Department of Justice. NAAPA requested this action to reduce bias towards business in the decision making processes of OLGR.
Not One More
Each day in NSW alcohol results in 66 assaults, including 27 domestic assaults, 28 emergency department presentations, 142 hospitalisations and three deaths.One more harm from alcohol is one too many.
The upcoming 2015 State Election provides NSW with an opportunity to ensure that their next Government continues to work towards a comprehensive plan that addresses alcohol harms.
‘Not one more’ alcohol related death or injury in NSW
‘My vote is for’ preventing alcohol harms before they happen
These two videos, ‘My vote is for’ and ‘Not one more’ call on all NSW politicians and candidates to make alcohol a priority in this election. Because another family broken due to alcohol is one too many, another child born with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is one too many, another young person’s life derailed because of alcohol is one too many, another community living in fear is one too many.
This election, our vote is for preventing alcohol harms before they happen.
We encourage you to watch and share these videos, and help us urge all NSW politicians to commit to stopping these harms.
What is NAAPA calling for?
The NSW ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA) has provided our leaders with a comprehensive plan to prevent alcohol harms in their 2015 Election Platform ‘Not one more’.
NAAPA launched its 2015 election platform ‘Not one more’ at Sydney’s Parliament House on 25 November 2015, urging NSW MP’s to take action on alcohol. This plan has clear solutions to:
- protect children and families
- put communities first
- reduce disability and disease
- prevent street violence
- build a robust alcohol harm prevention framework.
Email your local politician
You can get involved in the campaign by sending an email to your local member calling on them to take action on alcohol.
It’s really simple, just visit http://naapa.good.do/not-one-more, enter your details and hit send. You can customise this with your own message, or use our default.
In New South Wales (NSW), there are limited opportunities for community engagement with liquor licensing and planning decisions.
The complexity of the legislative and regulatory environment for liquor in NSW poses a range of barriers to community members who seek to navigate this landscape.
This discourages community participation and excludes some stakeholders from the process altogether.
There is currently no targeted support for communities to interact with the liquor licensing or planning systems. This results in unsuccessful or partial objections and complaints, and community members who are reluctant to engage with these systems at all.
This 2015 State Election, NAAPA is calling on NSW political parties to commit $800,000 funding over four years to establish a service to support and assist communities in the having a say in how alcohol is made available in their communities.
The development and funding of a Community Defenders Office (CDO), based on the successful Alcohol Community Action Project (ACAP) pilot, would help communities in navigating and interacting with the liquor licensing system.
The ACAP, was a 12 month pilot project funded by the Australian Rechabite Foundation and administered by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education. The purpose of ACAP was to assist individuals, groups and organisations who wanted to engage with the liquor licensing and planning processes to reduce alcohol harms in their community. The pilot project consisted of two key resources: a community adviser and a website of resources.
During its trial, ACAP successfully supported numerous concerned communities across NSW, assisting with lodging objections to liquor related development applications and liquor licence applications, and providing advice to individuals who were not aware of their rights when dealing with these systems.
The initiative proved an important first step in demonstrating the need for support for communities and providing a model for service implementation. The high level of demand experienced by the ACAP project during the pilot demonstrates the need within the community for such a service.
For more information on the ACAP visit www.acap-nsw.org.au
How to get involved
NAAPA has developed a postcard campaign calling on the Premier of NSW Mike Baird to fund and develop a CDO in NSW.
These postcards have been sent to communities across NSW.
If you would like some postcards for your community members, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year the NSW Government announced its Alcohol and drug fuelled violence initiatives in response to a series of preventable acts of alcohol-fuelled violence last summer and the tragic deaths of Daniel Christie and Thomas Kelly.
The nation-leading major policy reforms included 3am last drinks and 1:30am lockouts in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD precincts, a state-wide 10pm closing time for bottle shops, a ban on high risk liquor promotions, and annual risk-based licensing fees for all liquor outlets.
Since these measures have been in place, the people of NSW have been experiencing significant and welcome reductions in alcohol harms.
On Wednesday 21 January 2015, one year on from the NSW Government’s announcement of new measures to reduce alcohol-related violence, the NSW ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA) wrote to all Members of the Parliament of NSW asking them to reaffirm their commitment to these reforms. See a copy of the email correspondence they received.
Make alcohol harm prevention measures a priority
NAAPA, a coalition of health, community and emergency services, has developed a roadmap to reducing alcohol harms in NSW, a comprehensive plan which clearly outlines evidence-based solutions to inform alcohol policy discussions.