Media release – 21 June 2013
Alcohol continues to be the major drug of choice in our community, and no one wants prohibition. But in light of the continued rise in binge drinking and alcohol-related violence, it is becoming increasingly clear that the NSW Government needs to consider harm minimisation measures such as restricting the advertising of alcohol, and raising the legal drinking age in NSW, the President of the NSW Council of Churches, the Rev Dr Ross Clifford, said today.
He said there appeared to be a direct relationship between the alcohol industry, sport, politicians, and young people drinking to excess.
“The community is sick and tired of lame duck excuses for abusive behaviour caused by alcohol consumption that we hear of every day. It’s time to put in place significant measures to curb alcohol abuse,” Dr Clifford said.
“Those that ought to at least be trialed include restricting alcohol advertising, stopping the endorsement of alcoholic beverages by sportspeople, raising the minimum legal age for alcohol consumption, reducing the number and concentration of alcohol retail outlets, raising the cost of alcohol through higher taxes, and extending the Newcastle trial in certain places,” he said.
“Trials in Newcastle demonstrate that earlier pub closing times, lock-outs, and restrictions on the sale of high-alcohol content drinks can significantly reduce alcohol-related violence. We need to see these trials extended, and consider a range of other measures in the interest of public health.”
Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678