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Media releases

Churches support NSW Premier’s tough stance on alcohol

For immediate release

23 January 2014

Longer sentencing and mandatory minimum sentences for serious and fatal assaults involving alcohol and other drugs are part of the solution to crack down on alcohol abuse in NSW, the President of the NSW Council of Churches, the Reverend Dr Ross Clifford, said today.

“People in this State are sick and tired of lame duck excuses for abusive behaviour caused by alcohol consumption. It’s time to put in place significant measures to curb alcohol abuse,” Dr Clifford said.

Dr Clifford said church leaders across NSW supported tough new measures to crack down on offenders announced by Premier Barry O’Farrell on Tuesday.

“Strict bail and parole conditions for serious offenders, such as bans on entering licensed premises and a requirement of zero alcohol consumption, may also help change the binge drinking culture and reduce the level of alcohol-related violence,” Dr Clifford said. “The Newcastle trials demonstrated that earlier pub closing times, lock-outs, and restrictions on the sale of high-alcohol content drinks can significantly reduce alcohol-related violence.  However, we need to see these trials extended across the State, not only in local areas such as the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross.”

The NSW Council of Churches has previously called on the NSW Government to consider harm minimisation measures such as earlier pub closing times, lock-outs, restricting the advertising of alcohol, and raising the legal drinking age in NSW.

Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678

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