Welcome to Alcohol Action Station e-newsletter edition #36
Issue no. 36
In this Issue
  • welcome to alcohol action station
  • did you know?
  • Call to remove alcohol from school events
  • pilbara liquor restrictions announced
  • new report: foetal alcohol spectrum disorder - the invisible disability
  • alcohol awareness week: the salvation army
  • guess the alcoholic beverage
  • alcohol advertising review board: recent determinations
  • Exciting employment opportunity with MCAAY
  • alcohol in the media
  • the facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

Addressing young people’s exposure to alcohol promotion was a central issue at the recent National Summit on Alcohol Marketing to Young People hosted by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) in Parliament House, Canberra.
Presentations to health professionals, media and parliamentarians outlined the failure of Australia’s current self-regulatory alcohol advertising system; the destructive mix of alcohol, sport and sponsorship; the range of different forms of alcohol advertising and marketing used to promote alcohol; alcohol companies use of social media to spread pro-drinking messages through young people’s social networks; and, the extent of young people’s exposure to alcohol advertising through television. Staff from the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth presented on the world-first approach of the Alcohol Advertising Review Board (keep reading for recent activity of the AARB).  
A new report released by the AMA alongside the event, Alcohol Marketing and Young People: Time for a new policy agenda, outlines recommendations to reduce the exposure of children and young people to alcohol marketing. Recommendations include:
  1. The regulation of alcohol marketing and promotion, including as it relates to children and young people, should be statutory and independent of the alcohol and advertising industries. Experience in Australia and overseas demonstrates that self-regulation is not the answer.
  2. The sponsorship of sport by alcohol companies and brands should be phased out, with organisations encouraged and assisted to source socially responsible alternative funding.
  3. Sponsorship by alcohol companies and brands should be prohibited at youth, cultural and musical events.
  4. Given the cumulative effects of marketing, regulations need to limit the volume or amount of alcohol marketing, as well as its content.
  5. The regulation of alcohol marketing should be expanded to incorporate point-of-sale promotions, branded merchandise, and new media and digital marketing, including marketing through social media, viral campaigns, mobile phones, and the use of data collection and behavioural profiling.
The summit attracted lots of media coverage – as examples, you can read articles in the Sydney Morning Herald, ABC News and

To find out more, download the full AMA report here.
Until next time,
Julia Stafford, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Elecia Wheat, Injury Control Council of WA

did you know?

Exposure to alcohol advertising contributes to young people’s attitudes to drinking, decisions about when to start drinking and behaviours in regard to how much to drink.

Encourage others to take action on alcohol. Forward this to a friend.
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Call to Remove Alcohol From School Events

Should parents and other adults be allowed to consume alcohol at school events?
The Australian Drug Foundation (ADF), following contact from a number of concerned parents, has publicly raised concerns about the current practices of some schools to allow adults to consume alcohol at school events including fundraising events, sports games and fetes.

Reasons behind the concerns include that there is a need to show children that adults can enjoy themselves without alcohol, and that drinking on school grounds undermines school alcohol education programs.
What do you think? Send us your thoughts.

Pilbara Liquor Restrictions Announced

The Director of Liquor Licensing has announced a number of liquor restrictions for licensed premises in the Pilbara region to take effect on 8 October 2012.
While restrictions vary between towns, most liquor store trading hours are limited to 11am to 8pm, with many takeaway liquor stores closed on Sundays (although hotels, clubs and taverns may trade on Sundays). Product restrictions will no longer allow the sale of beer in glass bottles of 750ml+ (king browns), wine casks of more than 2L and fortified wine in containers greater than 1L.
The restrictions were imposed under section 64 of the Liquor Control Act in response to reports by the WA Police and the West Pilbara Alcohol Management Group which outlined alarming levels of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms in the Pilbara region. To inform the development of restrictions, submissions were received from licensees, government departments, and health and community organisations.
For more information, see the website of the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor.

New Report: Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – The Invisible Disability

The WA Parliament Education and Health Standing Committee recently released a report on FASD as part of the Committee’s inquiry into improving educational outcomes for Western Australians of all ages.
The report recognises that “FASD is a serious condition that is totally preventable” and is the “leading cause of non-genetic, intellectual disability in Australia and the Western World”.
The Committee’s 22 recommendations include:
  • The WA Government encourages the Federal Government to support the adoption of a FASD Diagnostic tool and the classification of FASD as a disability by June 2013.
  • The government invests additional funds in the 2013 budget into FASD prevention campaigns that seek to raise public awareness of harmful alcohol use as it relates to the unborn child.
  • The Minister for Racing and Gaming amend the Liquor Control Act 1988 by December 2013 introducing a mandatory health warning label regime for alcohol products sold in WA, including a message about the risks of consuming alcohol while pregnant.
Want to find out more? Access the full report here.

Alcohol Awareness Week: The Salvation Army

Alcohol Awareness Week is an initiative by The Salvation Army designed to stimulate community discussion and debate around the social impacts of alcohol abuse.
New research from The Salvation Army found that:
  • 22% of Australians say they know families where they think that children are not being properly cared for because of someone’s alcohol abuse.
  • 16% of Australians say they know families where they think that children may be unsafe because of someone’s alcohol abuse.
In releasing the results of the survey conducted by Roy Morgan Research, The Salvation Army’s Clinical Director of Recovery Services, Gerard Byrne said, “To think that a child feels unsafe due to the alcohol use of a family member is very concerning. Alcohol is the most widely used and widely accepted drug in today’s society and yet we know people will often drink harmfully – without even considering the impacts. As a result, the amount of alcohol that is consumed and the effects that this has on children, families and friends, is never really taken into account”.
Commenting on the results in the Sydney Morning Herald, MCAAY Director Professor Mike Daube said, “It is all too consistent with a wide range of evidence showing that the harms of alcohol are much broader than many people would like to think.”

For the full results, visit The Salvation Army website.

Guess the Alcoholic Beverage

AARB imageCruiser Mudshake Chocolate. Mishka Hot Pink. Passion has Red Lips. Electric Pink. Pom Pom Cruiser.  Pancake. Choc Éclair.
Do these sound like alcoholic products to you? Well, they all are.

There is growing concern that the name and packaging of many alcoholic products contain features – including words, youth symbols, designs, or characters – that would be likely to appeal to young people.
Examples of products reviewed by the Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) include:
  • The Bacchus Shot Bucket, which features 28 individually packaged shots with names including Pancake, Cowboy, Choc Éclair and Choc Banana Split.
  • The Cruiser Mudshake Chocolate, a vodka pre-mixed drink that is described on the bottle as ‘smooth and creamy’.
  • Passion has Red Lips, a red wine produced by the wine company Some Young Punks – whose other wine labels include Naked on Roller Skates and Double Love Trouble.
For each of these products, the AARB Panel found that the name and packaging would be likely to have appeal to young people. Advertisers were requested to reconsider the naming and packaging of the products due to the likely appeal to young people.
Have you seen an alcohol product recently that you believe would appeal to young people? Let the Alcohol Advertising Review Board know about it.

Alcohol Advertising Review Board: Recent Determinations

AARB logoCheck out some of the recent determinations by the Alcohol Advertising Review Board in response to alcohol ad complaints from the Australian community: Seen an alcohol ad that doesn’t sit right with you? Visit the Alcohol Advertising Review Board website to submit a complaint.

Exciting Employment Opportunity with MCAAY

Concerned about alcohol and young people?

Want to be involved in a new approach to generating action on an issue of major community concern?
The McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth is currently seeking expressions of interest regarding a new Information and Research Officer position from enthusiastic applicants with an interest in public health advocacy.
Find out more here. (PDF 132Kb)
Interested applicants are invited to seek further information from Ms Julia Stafford, MCAAY Executive Officer, on (08) 9266 9079 or by COB Tuesday 16 October 2012.

Alcohol in the Media

Give youth options to cut curse of party riots [PDF 132KB]
The West Australian, 28 September 2012
Opinion piece by Griffin Longley regarding new legislation to address out-of-control parties: The simple reality is that we need more for our disaffected teenagers to do at weekends than drinking vodka breezers and making frisbees out of roof tiles. We need more effective programs that engage young people who are at risk of drifting into the broken-glass fringe of our society. And when all else fails, we need more sentencing options for our judges that work towards getting our disaffected young people on a positive track.
Mirror ball, mirror ball, in the school hall: are parents allowed any booze at all?
The Conversation, 28 September 2012
Article by Nyanda McBride, Senior Research Fellow, National Drug Research Institute:
The question of whether adults should be allowed to drink alcohol at school discos, fetes and sports games was thrust into the spotlight this week after the Australian Drug Foundation urged education departments to develop “alcohol management strategies” to ban drinking at school events.
Top surgeon in Green’s corner
The West Australian, 25 September 2012
A leading Perth neurosurgeon, Professor Neville Knuckey, who has seen an increase in one-punch related injuries has backed boxer Danny Green's campaign to put an end to mindless violence.
WA drinking levels top nation [PDF 17KB]
The West Australian, 24 September 2012
West Australians might be drinking less alcohol and smoking less cannabis but they are still having more than the national average, a new report warns. The Drug and Alcohol Office’s annual report shows that though there was a significant drop in daily drinking between 2007 and 2010 — down from 9.8% to 7.5% — more West Australians are drinking alcohol at risky levels compared with national figures.
Keep booze out of schools, parents told
Sydney Morning Herald, 23 September 2012
Parents would be banned from drinking at school fetes, discos, concerts, graduation nights and sports days under a plan that aims to prevent children developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. The Australian Drug Foundation will launch a campaign today urging education bosses to adopt ''alcohol management strategies'' to stop parents who booze at school sending the wrong message to children.
Action urged on foetal booze woes [PDF 17KB]
The West Australian, 21 September 2012
Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder is significantly under-reported in WA due to a chronic lack of screening and data collection, according to a report tabled in State Parliament yesterday.
Liquor restrictions coming into force in Pilbara
ABC News, 21 September 2012
A leading health advocate, Professor Mike Daube, says new liquor restrictions coming into force in the Pilbara next month will help curb alcohol related problems in the region but others say broader intervention is needed.
Why it’s time to lower Australia’s blood alcohol driving limit
The Conversation, 21 September 2012
Article by Soames Job, Executive Director, National Road Safety Council: Around one quarter of deaths on Australia’s roads involve drink-driving. Over a decade, this amounts to over 3,500 deaths, as well as many thousands of serious injuries.
Social media condemned for alcohol marketing
Sydney Morning Herald, 20 September 2012
Australia’s peak medical body, the Australian Medical Association, has censured the social media giant Facebook for allowing alcohol companies to target children.
Alcohol industry grooming children to drink by marketing booze-flavoured snacks, AMA claims, 19 September 2012
The nation's peak medical organisation, the Australian Medical Association, wants new laws to restrict alcohol advertising aimed at young people after exposing the shocking tactics.

The Facts

  1. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can result in premature births, brain damage, birth defects, growth retardation, developmental delay and cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural deficits.
  2. A partner’s drinking is a factor in maternal alcohol consumption. 75% of children with FASD have biological fathers who are heavy drinkers and often have extended families with heavy alcohol consumption.
  3. An estimated 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned. Consequently, many pregnancies may be exposed to alcohol before women realise they are pregnant.     
Source: Parliament of Western Australia, Education and Health Standing Committee. Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: the invisible disability. September 2012.
Alcohol Action Station aims to provide the WA community with the tools to take action to reduce harms from alcohol among young people. It is provided by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth in association with the Injury Control Council of WA. You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to receive Alcohol Action Station fortnightly e‐newsletters and urgent bulletins.

Copyright © 2012 Alcohol Action Station, All rights reserved.

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