Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 17 Mar 2013.
On Thursday 170 people met in Sydney for a summit on issues relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol, organised by the recently established Alcohol Policy Alliance.
The summit reviewed a summit on alcohol abuse held ten years ago and a subsequent detailed report charting the way ahead on alcohol reform, and explored why virtually nothing has changed in ten years.
Of the summit’s 318 recommendations, 107 specified at least one harm prevention activity; 26 related to raising awareness of the problem, and 15 recommended liquor accords. In areas with the greatest evidence for effective harm reduction, there were just four recommendations on pricing and availability, three on advertising, and three on drink-driving measures. And very little action has been taken on these.
It’s not hard to see why. The alcohol industry played a significant role in the 2003 summit; the government’s response was not well resourced or planned; and there has been a lack of ongoing political leadership on reform.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.