For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 21 July 2013.
The O’Farrell Government has caved in to pressure from the alcohol industry and significantly watered down proposals that would have protected children from harm and discouraged under-age drinking.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, new advertising guidelines released by the NSW government on Thursday morning show rules on the promotion of alcohol to minors, promotions deemed “indecent and offensive” and rules for the discounting of alcohol have been rewritten compared with draft guidelines established in August last year.
Most of the changes remove restrictions on promoting alcohol to children. A proposed ban on promotions which offer discounts on alcohol greater than 50 per cent has also been dropped, and the language in the section of the guidelines dealing with “indecent or offensive” alcohol promotions has been significantly amended.
The industry is all about increasing profit. What we need to see in NSW are more effective harm minimisation strategies, and better customer protection.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.