Welcome to Alcohol Action Station Edition #90
Issue no. 90
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • Help a WA Mum Stop Future Liquor Outlets From Opening Near Schools
  • FAS Cases in WA: Highest Ever Recorded in Australia
  • Petition: Help Stop KFC From Selling Alcohol
  • New Campaign Shines a Spotlight on Healthy Sporting Club Cultures
  • Alcohol in the Media
  • The Facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

The start of a new year is a perfect opportunity for governments to commit to taking action on alcohol and the results of the 2014 National Alcohol Policy Scorecard draw attention to the need for action. 2014 Alcohol Fizzers
The Scorecard results were released earlier in January and show that there is much scope for improvement at both federal and state levels. The Federal Government received the 2014 Fizzers award - awarded to the lowest performing jurisdiction - with a score of just 9%.
While the Federal Government flopped,  they were not alone – most governments struggled even to achieve a pass mark. The ACT Government topped the scorecard with a score of 48%. The ACT was found to have the best approach to combating alcohol-related harm. “They have a territory wide and measurable plan,” Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education chief executive Michael Thorn said. McCusker Centre Director Professor Mike Daube praised the ACT, but noted the need for improvement in all states and territories.
WA (45%) was not far behind the ACT and has the opportunity to substantially improve its result in the next scorecard if the WA Government takes comprehensive action following the recent review of WA’s liquor laws. This will be a focus of advocacy activity this year and we hope you will join us in calling for action on alcohol to protect young people throughout 2015.

Want more?
media coverage, a DrinkTank piece, and the full report of the 2014 National Alcohol Policy Scorecard results.

did you know?

The NSW Government was recognised as the 'most improved' jurisdiction in the 2014 National Alcohol Policy Scorecard due to major alcohol policy reforms – NSW introduced 3am last drinks and a 10pm closing time for bottle shops among other measures. 

Encourage others to take action on alcohol. Forward this to a friend.
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Help a WA Mum Stop Future Liquor Outlets From Opening Near Schools

A WA mum has started a petition calling on the WA Government to prevent future liquor outlets from opening within 500m of any school.
Ann contacted the McCusker Centre and asked us to help get the word out about her petition.
She says:
Consumers who want alcohol have a choice as to where to go. Children and young adults at school, and travelling to and from school do not.
It is not appropriate for children and adolescents to be exposed to enterprises that promote the sale and consumption of alcohol where they learn, play and socialise – particularly while they are at school, or travelling to or from school.

How can you help?
If you are concerned about future liquor outlets opening near schools:
We hope you get involved and show your support for this important issue.
Contact the McCusker Centre with any queries on 08 9266 9079 or at

FAS Cases in WA: Highest Ever Recorded in Australia

A long-awaited study into Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in remote WA has found that rates of FAS in Fitzroy Crossing are the highest ever reported in Australia.
Key findings:
  • Fitzroy Crossing teenagerAlcohol was used in 55% of the 127 pregnancies included in the study. Of the 60 women who drank alcohol in pregnancy, 87% drank at a high-risk level.
  • One in eight children born in Fitzroy Crossing has FAS. All children diagnosed with FAS in the region were prenatally exposed to alcohol.
Maureen Carter and June Oscar are prominent Aboriginal women from Fitzroy Crossing who invited researchers into the area to do the study. They write, “Our research through the Lililwan Project has confirmed high rates of alcohol use in pregnancy and foetal alcohol spectrum disorders. But we are not paralysed by what we have found. These results confirm what we've known for a long time now. These results are the hard truths of what's happening in our communities.” 
The rates of FASD (the name given to conditions that present with the same impairments in brain development but without the physical growth restrictions and facial characteristics seen in FAS) will be published in a later study. Dr James Fitzpatrick, a paediatrician with the Telethon Kids Institute and a researcher in the study, warned FASD rates would show the first study to be “the tip of the iceberg”.
Want more?
Read the opinion piece by Maureen Carter and June Oscar in the Sydney Morning Herald, media coverage, and the full study report.

Petition: Help Stop KFC From Selling Alcohol

A new petition has been created in response to recent media coverage of a plan to sell alcohol at a KFC outlet. petition
The petition organiser, Aaron Schultz, commented:
“Alcohol sales should not be allowed at fast food outlets that are being frequented by children and adolescents. If this proposal is approved it will open the flood gates for other unhealthy food providers to follow suit and will potentially allow convenience stores and other retailers to sell alcohol.”
In response to the plan, Professor Mike Daube, McCusker Centre Director said that “KFC is the last place where alcohol should be sold. This is a company that markets to kids and families.” He further commented “It really is quite absurd to be associating a product like KFC with alcohol.”
What can I do?
If you feel the same way, show your concern by signing the petition
Want more?
Read media coverage of the issue.

New Campaign Shines a Spotlight on Healthy Sporting Club Cultures

The Australian Drug Foundation has launched a new campaign encouraging parents to consider what habits their children are learning at their sports club.good sports
The Is your child’s club a Good Sports club? campaign uses powerful imagery of kids mimicking drunken behaviours that they have observed around their sports club. The campaign asks their parents to consider what their kids are learning at their club, and encourages them to choose a club involved in the Good Sports program.
Check out the ad.

Alcohol in the Media

Government must stay the course on alcohol curbs
Sydney Morning Herald, 21 January 2015
It was 12 months ago today that then Premier Barry O’Farrell announced a range of measures to curb alcohol abuse and alcohol-fuelled violence in the inner city.
Kids left with alcohol legacy
The West Australian, 18 January 2015
One in eight children living in remote Fitzroy Valley communities in WA suffers from foetal alcohol syndrome, a long-awaited study has found.
Law change would bring “carnage” back to the streets
The West Australian, 13 January 2015
Health professionals, alcohol experts and campaigners have attacked plans to review Sydney’s lockout laws.
Don’t buckle to alcohol lobby and leave lockout laws alone, one-punch victim’s family tell Premier
Daily Telegraph, 13 January 2014
The father of one-punch victim Thomas Kelly says Premier Mike Baird “categorically” assured him that the lockout laws would not be changed before 2016.
Doctors warn against relaxing NSW lockout laws, citing drop in drug and alcohol-related injuries
ABC News, 12 January 2015
Doctors are warning against the New South Wales government relaxing its lockout laws, citing a huge reduction in drug and alcohol-related injuries.
Health Minister Simon Corbell says ACT will further tighten alcohol laws
Canberra Times, 8 January 2015
Health Minister Simon Corbell says the ACT government remains committed to closing a loophole which allows adults to supply alcohol to minors.
Protect children – stop alcohol sponsorship of sport
The Guardian (UK), 26 December 2014
On Boxing Day millions of families will enjoy a full sporting calendar, either on TV or in person – a chance to spend quality time with family and friends.

The Facts

A recent US study showed that:
  1. Young people aged 15-17 years are only slightly less likely than people aged 21-23 years to have seen alcohol ads (23.4% compared to 25.6%).
  2. Young people who could accurately identify alcohol products and who said they liked the ads were more likely to try drinking or to drink more.  
Source: Tanski et al. Cued recall of alcohol advertising on television and underage drinking behaviour. JAMA Pediatrics; 2015.
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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