Welcome to Alcohol Action Station #74
Issue no. 74
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • Community Concern About a Proposed Liquor Store Being Built Across From a School
  • Alcohol Contributes a Large Proportion of Daily Energy Intake
  • WHO Calls on Governments To Do More On Alcohol Harm
  • Alcohol Ad Seen Outside A Primary School 
  • Alcohol Advertising Review Board: Recent Determinations
  • Alcohol in the Media
  • The Facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

A special investigation by DrinkTank, an online alcohol blog, has exposed the lengths Woolworths will go to when faced with measures that might curtail its alcohol promotion activities.
In early 2013, NSW parliamentarian Dr John Kaye MLC wrote to the Director General of the NSW Department of Trade and Investment (which oversees the NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (OLGR)) drawing his attention to what he referred to as a ‘loophole in the regulation of liquor promotions’, referring to shopper docket promotions for alcohol. 
The DrinkTank investigation revealed that a six month investigation into shopper dockets was undertaken by OLGR and that this concluded that shopper dockets should be restricted. However, following extensive consultation, and, as the documents obtained by DrinkTank reveal, “intimidation” by Woolworths, the Director General of the Department of Trade and Investment did not accept the recommendation.
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) Chief Executive Michael Thorn said the correspondence shows clear industry interference. “There is a fine line between protecting your own commercial interests and corporate bullying, and my concern is that by being so heavy handed, threatening and intimidating, Woolworths has well and truly crossed that line,” Mr Thorn said.
FARE is now calling for alcohol promotions shopper dockets to be banned. “The NSW Government must ban alcohol promotion shopper dockets immediately, and, as a matter of urgency, develop regulation to replace the failed alcohol promotion guidelines,” said Mr Thorn.
Want more?
Read more about this on DrinkTank, where you can also read the documents obtained, and in the Sydney Morning Herald
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Megan DePiazz, Injury Control Council WA 

did you know?

Alcohol remains the biggest single cause of substance abuse ambulance call-outs in Victoria.
Source: Turning Point 2014. Alarming upwards trend on ice-related ambulance call-outs [Media Release].

Encourage others to take action on alcohol. Forward this to a friend.
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Community Concern About a Proposed Liquor Store Being Built Across From a School

A development proposal to build a McDonalds and a liquor store across the road from one school and in very close proximity to another in Mandurah, WA has raised community concern. 
The Peel Joint Development Assessment Panel has approved the development, despite it being rejected by Mandurah 
councillors earlier this year. 
Liquor store development in MandurahThe Development Assessment Panel made the comment in approving the development that the decision constitutes planning approval only. Current legislation only allows local government to consider planning factors (such as amenities, traffic, noise, etc.) and not health harm when assessing applications.
It is unfortunate that our planning legislation does not take into account health harms of certain applications, but we can express our concerns about the liquor store being opened across the road from a school.
What can I do?
The liquor store application is likely to be advertised on the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor (DRGL) website.
If you live in the area, if your children go to school there, and if you are concerned about this, you may wish to consider objecting to the liquor license application (once it is advertised). However, it is not known yet when or if this application will be advertised.
How do I object?
The DRGL website [PDF 800KB] contains information on objecting to liquor licence applications. More information on objecting to a liquor licence application is available here.
Want more?
Read media coverage of the development proposal here and here.

Alcohol Contributes a Large Proportion of Daily Energy Intake

The first nutrition survey released in the last 15 years shows some interesting findings about Australia’s eating habits, as well as our alcohol consumption. wine glasses
Alcohol-related findings of the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey include:
  • Around one quarter of Australians (5.4 million people) drank alcohol in the 24 hours prior to the survey.
  • Alcohol was consumed by almost one in three people (32%) aged 19 years and over on the day before the interview.
  • Alcohol contributes to 3.4% of the total population’s (those aged 2 years and over) total energy intake, but to 13% of drinkers’ energy intake in that age group.
  • Alcohol contributes to 6% of total energy intake for those aged 19 and over and to 16% of the drinkers’ daily energy intake in that age group.
  • The most common alcohol drinks were wines (13%) and beers (11%), with spirits (excluding pre-mixed) being consumed by 2.1% of the population.
Want more?
Read the full report and media release on the ABS website, and media coverage in the Sydney Morning Herald.

WHO Calls on Governments To Do More On Alcohol Harm 

Worldwide, 3.3 million deaths in 2012 were due to harmful use of alcohol. Alcohol kills one person every 10 seconds worldwide.
These are some of the findings of a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) launched this week. Some other findings of the report include:
  • WHO global status report on alcohol and healthThose who drink consume an average of 17 litres of pure alcohol per year;
  • Harmful use of alcohol makes people more susceptible to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia;
  • Higher percentage of deaths among men than among women are from alcohol-related causes – 7.6% of men’s deaths and 4% of women’s deaths;
  • There is concern over the steady increase in alcohol use among women;
  • 16% of drinkers engage in binge drinking.
WHO is calling on governments to do more to prevent alcohol-related deaths and diseases. 
“More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption,” says Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. “The report shows clearly there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing the harmful use of alcohol.”
WHO notes that some countries are already strengthening measures to protect people, including increasing taxes on alcohol, limiting the availability of alcohol, and regulating the marketing of alcohol.
Want more?
Read the media release, the full report, and media coverage.

drunkest countries in the world mapped - HSM twitter

Alcohol Ad Seen Outside A Primary School

An ad for Dan Murphy’s (a liquor retailer) was seen outside a Belmont primary school, in clear breach of outdoor advertising guidelines. The ad was highly visible to students at the front of the school and inside the grounds. Ad sends poor message - The West Australian
McCusker Centre Director Professor Mike Daube said it was unacceptable to have the liquor retailer’s advertisements outside the school. “It is outrageous that alcohol is being promoted directly outside a primary school,” Professor Daube said.
“There are simply too many of these ads for an excuse around errors and oversights and it is clear that there is no effective monitoring or enforcement even of the industry’s own codes.”
A complaint about the ad was recently submitted to the Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) and it has been upheld by the Review Panel.
What can I do?
If you see an alcohol ad that concerns you, contact the Alcohol Advertising Review Board. Making a complaint is simple – just send a pic or link to the advertisement (if you can) and briefly describe why it concerns you. At you will find an online form and contact details to submit complaints.
Want more?
Read media coverage of the inappropriate ad.
Read the AARB determination report.

Alcohol Advertising Review Board: Recent Determinations 

Check out some of the recent determinations by the Alcohol Advertising Review Board in response to alcohol ad complaints from the Australian community: AARB Seen an alcohol ad recently that concerned you? Contact the Alcohol Advertising Review Board to submit a complaint.

Alcohol in the Media

Opinion: There’s merit in raising the bar on drinking age
Courier Mail, 14 May 2014
As a 20-year-old who enjoys a drink every now and then, I’m about to admit something that is going to leave me very unpopular with my mates.
Leeton Council investigates continuing binge drinking program now federal funds have dried up
ABC News, 13 May 2014
An independent evaluation is underway of a half million dollar program, that aimed to deter youth binge drinking in the Leeton district.
Raise drinking age to 21, say professors
The West Australian, 12 May 2014
Alcohol causes permanent brain damage in young people, say four Australian professors who are calling for the minimum drinking age to be increased to 21.
Changes proposed to alcohol policy
The Auklander (NZ), 12 May 2014
Tomorrow Auckland Council will decide if it will release its draft Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) for public consultation.
Uni program teaching students binge drinking dangers
ABC News, 12 May 2014
A Queensland university is using confronting methods to educate teenagers about the dangers of alcohol and binge drinking.
Alcohol issue for our ambos
The Border Mail, 8 May 2014
Wodonga had one of the highest ambulance call out rates in regional Victoria for heroin-related cases last year, but it is alcohol abuse that is proving the most challenging issue for ambulance officers in the region.
Controversial Mandurah development gets the go ahead
Murray Mail, 6 May 2014
The Peel Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) has approved the controversial development on Minilya Parkway in Greenfields, despite it being rejected by Mandurah councillors earlier this year.
Byron street violence down: police
Byron Echo, 6 May 2014
A Byron Bay Liquor Accord meeting on April 30 was given some promising signs of improvements regarding alcohol-related violence, according to councillor Duncan Dey.
Big beer bottle proposed for Goulburn
The Age, 5 May 2014
Its proponent believes it is “tasteful.” Objectors argue it signals “a city of drunks.” 

The Facts

All the talk about the federal budget reminds us of some very effective pricing measures that Government can implement to prevent alcohol-related harm.
  1. An overhaul of alcohol taxes in Australia is sorely needed.
  2. Wine is taxed under the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET), which results in massively distorted prices that don’t consistently reflect the alcohol content of products. WET needs to be replaced with a volumetric tax, which would mean taxing wine products according to their alcohol content (as per the current tax arrangements for beer and spirits).
  3. A minimum price for alcohol would establish a government-regulated price per standard drink of alcohol below which products may not be sold.
Source: Vandenberg B & Sharma A.2014. Alcohol tax reform: a minimum price is in the public interest. The Conversation.     
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.

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