Welcome to Alcohol Action Station Edition #100
Issue no. 100
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • Twelve Ambulances A Day Called For Alcohol Intoxication in WA
  • Good Sports: World First Program Reduces Risky Drinking  
  • ACT Government Moves To Introduce Secondary Supply Laws
  • New Research: Alcohol Policies for Adult Drinking Also Work For Young People
  • Liquor Chains Dominate in Harms
  • Check Out Our Recent Submissions
  • Take Action on Alcohol Advertising!
  • Alcohol in the Media
  • The Facts  

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

Welcome to a very special edition of Alcohol Action Station. Today we celebrate our 100th edition!
Since day one, Alcohol Action Station has aimed to provide the information and tools to empower community members to take action on harms from alcohol. Our goal has been to work together with the community and other organisations to reduce harms from alcohol among young people.
We will continue to work together and empower the community to reduce harms, but we need your help. Help us spread the message by encouraging friends, family and colleagues to sign up to the Alcohol Action Station e-newsletters.
We look forward to bringing you the latest news and tools to empower you to take action on alcohol for another 100 editions (and more!).
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Megan De Piazz, Injury Control Council of WA

did you know?

We are always keen to hear from you – email us at with feedback, to let us know your concerns, or how you have taken action on alcohol, no matter how big or small!

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Twelve Ambulances a Day Called For Alcohol Intoxication in WA

New figures released by St John Ambulance WA show that paramedics treated 12 drunk West Australians each day last year. The West Australian - front page
In 2014, 4552 ambulances were called to attend to people who were so drunk they needed medical assistance. More than half (60%) were taken to hospital. This figure includes 372 call-outs for children and teenagers, including some under 12 years.
Acting Metropolitan Ambulance General Manager Angela Wright said, “Despite the focus on education about the dangers of alcohol, we are seeing many cases of poor judgement and the repercussions of excessive drinking of alcohol can be life changing.”
McCusker Centre Executive Officer Julia Stafford said, “Every day in WA an ambulance is called to treat a teenager because they are so blind drunk they need medical assistance. These numbers tell me that we have a big problem,” she said.
The McCusker Centre is calling on the WA Government to accept the advice of its independent advisory committee which reviewed the Liquor Control Act and strengthen police powers on alcohol sales to minors and curb alcohol promotion. 
Want more?
Read our media release and a media article.

Good Sports: World First Program Reduces Risky Drinking  

A world first program developed in Australia has been shown to reduce the likelihood of risky drinking at sports clubs by almost 40%.

Good Sports programAn independent study by the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Population Health and Deakin University has found that the Australian Drug Foundation's Good Sports program reduces the risk of risky drinking at sports clubs by 37% and the risk of alcohol-related harm to club members by 42%.
"Heavy drinking and sport have long been seen as inseparable, but this study shows that Good Sports can change even entrenched risky drinking cultures - it's great news," said Australian Drug Foundation CEO John Rogerson.
Director of Hunter New England Population Health and University of Newcastle Professor John Wiggers said: "Not only does Good Sports reduce risky drinking at the club, it reduces the overall harm from alcohol both at the club and in other settings."
"This is the first study in the world that demonstrates a community-based program in community sports can make a difference to reducing risky consumption by club members," he said.
Want more?
Read the media release with links to the full paper in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

ACT Government Moves To Introduce Secondary Supply Laws

The ACT Government has moved to introduce secondary supply laws which would ban the supply of alcohol to young people under 18, unless by a parent or a guardian or with the permission of a parent or a guardian.
“There is much evidence about the impact of alcohol on brain development and ‘secondary supply’ offences will prohibit the supply of liquor to children and young people by anyone other than a parent, guardian or someone authorised by a parent or guardian on private property or land,” said Attorney General Simon Corbell who introduced the Bill.
The proposed law requires that any alcohol is supplied responsibly and makes it clear that giving alcohol to an intoxicated young person is not ok. A fine of $3,000 would be imposed for supplying alcohol to under 18s.
“Given the clear risks of alcohol consumption by young people, these proposed amendments ensure that parents are ultimately responsible for determining when and how their children are exposed to alcohol,” Mr Corbell said.
The WA Government’s independent review of the Liquor Control Act recommended the introduction of secondary supply laws here. The Government has indicated that they will introduce the laws, but we are yet to see this happen. We hope that the ACT Government’s actions will encourage them to act speedily.
Want more?
Read the media release.
Read the media article.

Read the Parliamentary Hansard (page P2033, section titled Liquor Amendment Bill 2015).

New Research: Alcohol Policies for Adult Drinking Also Work For Young People

New research from the US suggests that as alcohol laws get tougher, teen drinking rates drop – even if the laws are targeting adults and not teens.
The study found that each 10 percentage point increase in the strength of a state’s policy environment was related to an 8% reduction in the likelihood of young people drinking any alcohol, and a 7% reduction in the likelihood of young people binge drinking.
The study also found evidence that adult drinking mediates the relationship between population-oriented policies and young people’s drinking.
Overall, this study shows that efforts to reduce young people’s drinking should rely on policies that address all age groups, including parents and other adults.
Want more?
Read the full report.

Liquor Chains Dominate in Harms

“Your local liquor chain is capturing more than just the market for alcohol.” This is the finding of a new study from the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and Monash University.

FARE reportThe study explored the link between off-premise alcohol outlets and the rate of assaults and injuries in Australia, based on the number of ambulance call-outs in Victoria.
Key findings include
  • The number of off-premise outlets is positively related to both intentional and unintentional injury.
  • Large bottleshops and liquor chains contribute most substantially to trauma risk in neighbourhoods, with each additional chain outlet associated with a 35.5% increase in intentional injuries and a 22% increase in unintentional injuries.
  • Larger outlets and chains sold cheaper alcohol than independent stores, with the average price of the cheapest 750ml bottle of wine just $5.54.
  • Outlets that sold cheaper alcohol were more likely to be located in disadvantaged areas.
FARE Chief Executive Michael Thorn says the study has important implications for licensing authorities.  “It’s frankly unacceptable for licensing authorities to approve applications without consideration to the existing liquor outlet landscape when we know that limiting the number of off-license liquor outlets, particularly chain outlets would reduce the level of harm,” he said.

Want more?
Read the full report, the media release and FARE’s submission on FARE’s website.
Read the McCusker Centre’s submission on our website.

Check Out Our Recent Submissions

Want to know more about the position of the McCusker Centre on alcohol policy issues? Check out some of our recent submissions to enquiries and reviews…
Submission to the Tax Discussion Paper 
We call on the federal government to remove the Wine Equalisation Tax, introduce a tiered volumetric tax system and introduce a minimum (floor) price for alcohol. [PDF 772KB]

Response to the Competition Policy Review Final Report
We outline our opposition to the sale of alcohol in supermarkets. [PDF 252KB]
Submission to Free TV Australia on the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice
We outline our concerns about the proposed Code which would increase young people’s exposure to alcohol advertising, and urge Free TV Australia to strengthen the Code. [PDF 860KB]

Take Action on Alcohol Advertising!

Your children see these adverts bus stop ad

Seen an alcohol ad recently that concerned you?
It may have been on a bus shelter or billboard, on TV, on YouTube or in your daily newspaper.
Next time you see an alcohol ad that concerns you, let the Alcohol Advertising Review Board know about it. The Alcohol Advertising Review Board accepts complaints from the Australian community about alcohol ads and aims to provide independent review of alcohol advertising in Australia.
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.
Follow the @AlcoholAdReview on Twitter to stay up to date.

Alcohol in the Media

Global Drug Survey shows most Australians want to reduce drinking alcohol
Sydney Morning Herald, 8 June 2015
The catalyst was a hangover. Sarah Davis woke up cringing from the night before and resolved to take a break from drinking.
Alcohol tax shake-up needed to change unfair, inequitable system says MP Keith Pitt
ABC News, 5 June 2015
A southern Queensland federal MP says the current alcohol tax for spirits is inequitable and the system needs to be reviewed.
Hope for remote Aboriginal communities in the fight against alcohol
The West Australian, 3 June 2015
“Amid debate about remote Aboriginal communities I am frustrated, yet optimistic,” writes Telethon Kids Institute researcher Dr James Fitzpatrick.
When alcohol invades the womb
The West Australian, 3 June 2015
Getting help to kids mislabelled as “just naughty”, when they have an unrecognised disability caused by alcohol-related brain damage that occurred in the womb, is a major commitment made by the Telethon Kids Institute.
Licensed venues targeted in blitz to cut down on serving alcohol to minors
Daily Telegraph, 1 June 2015
More than 500 pubs and bottle shops have been targeted in a statewide crackdown on licensed venues serving alcohol to underage teenagers, with one hotel being shut down and individuals fined $1100 for supplying minors with booze.
Aussies hungover for 90 million hours a month
The New Daily, 1 June 2015
Booze after effects cause us to skip birthdays and weddings, new research suggests.

The Facts

  1. WA’s liquor laws prohibit the sale of alcohol to minors, but there is currently no effective way to monitor or enforce that law.
  2. Controlled purchase operations would address this gap and help to prevent underage access to alcohol.
  3. Controlled purchase operations support police to ensure liquor outlets do not sell to minors – police work with underage young people to attempt to purchase alcohol following a set procedure.
  4. This strategy is successfully used in New Zealand and the UK; it is also used in WA for compliance monitoring of tobacco sales, but is currently not allowed for alcohol.
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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