Welcome to Alcohol Action Station e-newsletter edition #18
Issue no. 18
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • Australia Day
  • New Stats on Uni Student Drinking
  • Shot Buckets Targeted
  • Free Lip Gloss with Vodka Promo OK’d
  • Community Alcohol Grants
  • Strong Spirit Strong Mind Metro Project Community Grants
  • Alcohol in the Media
  • The Facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station in 2012!
In 2012 we will be working hard to make sure Alcohol Action Station hits the spot in giving WA community members the tools and info to support you to take action on alcohol. We will be making some changes to the e-news – including adding pics! – so please let us know  what you’d like to see to get the most out of it!
Along with footy finals, the Melbourne Cup and Christmas, Australia Day is a target for alcohol promotions. This year we’ve already seen bottle shops giving away Aussie car flags and others having Australia Day sales.
So what kind of message are we to take from this? Australia Day is a day for drinking?
Unfortunately, when we talk about the Australian drinking culture, we’re often referring to a culture of drinking to get drunk. Of course, not everybody drinks this way, but when over 40% of WA 16-17 year old school students report that “One of the main reasons I drink is to get drunk”, it is clear that there is a big problem that requires real action.
Binge drinking and alcohol-caused harm don’t have to be part of the Australian drinking culture.
For every one of us who has had enough of seeing alcohol promotions targeting young people, the aftermath of alcohol-fuelled violence or reports of crashes involving drunk-drivers, there is a role to play in calling for action on alcohol.
Alcohol Action Station is here to support you to get involved in action on alcohol. We look forward to working with you throughout 2012.
Until next time,
Julia Stafford, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Elecia Wheat, Injury Control Council of WA

did you know?

Nearly half of WA university students drink at risky levels.

Source: Hallett J, et al. Undergraduate student drinking and related harms at an Australian university: web-based survey of a large random sample. BMC Public Health. 2012; 12(37).

Encourage others to take action on alcohol. Forward this to a friend.

Forward to a Friend

Australia Day

Australia Day is here again.
It’s a beloved day in our community - a time to come together to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian. Yet somewhere along the way, Australia Day celebrations became synonymous with excessive drinking (often while clad in full Australiana gear), and in the past, Australia Day skyworks shows (both in WA and other states) have been plagued by binge drinking and anti-social behaviour.
New research from Melbourne found that Australia Day is the worst day of the year for assaults and drunkenness for people aged under 25 years. On Australia Day:
  • Ambulance attendances for intoxicated young people more than double, compared to the average.
  • There is a 50% increase in intoxicated young people presenting at Melbourne emergency departments.
  • There is a 200% increase in young people treated for injuries due to assaults.
In an effort to prevent anti-social behaviour, the WA Government placed an alcohol ban on the 2010 Australia Day Skyworks show. In 2011, BYO Picnic Zones were trialled. These were relatively successful, with the behaviour of last year’s crowd praised by police and the incidence of anti-social behaviour across the state at a record low.

Two BYO Picnic Zones will be in place this year on the Perth/South Perth Foreshore.  Between 6.30pm and 8.45pm, adults will be permitted one six-pack of beer or pre-mixed drinks, or one bottle of wine per person. All other public spaces for the Skyworks will remain alcohol free at all times. More info can be found here

What do you think about the Australia Day alcohol restrictions?
We’d love to hear your thoughts.

New Stats on Uni Student Drinking

The results of the first known prevalence study of undergraduate uni student drinking in Australia were recently published. More than 7200 WA uni students aged 17 to 25 were surveyed.
Key findings:
  • Almost half (48%) of university students drink at risky levels.
  • 48% had exceeded national guidelines to prevent short-term harm from alcohol at least once in the previous month.
  • On average, female students drank five standard drinks in a session, and male students drank almost nine.
  • Local students were heavier drinkers than international students.
Large numbers of people were affected by other students’ drinking (in the previous month):
  • Nearly 9% of male students reported being pushed, hit or otherwise assaulted in the previous month by others who had been drinking
  • 13% reported being insulted or humiliated
  • 14% of female students reported experiencing an unwanted sexual advance
  • 1% of students had been sexually assaulted
  • One-fifth reported having studying or sleep interrupted
Source: Hallett J, et al. Undergraduate student drinking and related harms at an Australian university: web-based survey of a large random sample. BMC Public Health. 2012; 12(37).

Shot Buckets Targeted

Chocolate Banana Split, Pancake, Chocolate Éclair...sound pretty harmless, don’t you think?
Actually, these are some of the flavours of the alcoholic shots being sold in Shot Buckets in WA liquor stores. Concerns about Shot Buckets were publicly raised by the McCusker Centre in The West Australian last week. These Shot Buckets hold 28 individual, brightly-coloured and very sweet shots of liqueur at 15-20% alcohol.
WA’s liquor legislation, the Liquor Control Act 1988, allows the WA Racing and Gaming Minister to recommend that an alcoholic product be banned if it is considered to be “attractive to juveniles”, “confused with soft drinks or confectionery”, “is likely to have a special appeal to juveniles”, or if its availability is not in the best interests of the public (see Section 126D of the Act).
Hmmm....Do you think Shot Buckets tick any of those boxes? The McCusker Centre will be making a submission to the Minister requesting that Shot Buckets be removed from sale.
Our colleagues at the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA are running a poll asking
"Do you think Bacchus Distillery should stop making the Shot Bucket?"
Have your say!
Have you seen another alcoholic product that you believe shouldn’t be on the market?
Please let us know!

Free Lip Gloss with Vodka Promo OK’d

This is not a joke...although it really should be.
Alcohol advertising in Australia comes under a system of voluntary self-regulation whereby the alcohol and advertising industries themselves are in charge of regulating alcohol advertising.
It may therefore not come as too much of a surprise that the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) Adjudication Panel recently gave the green light to a promotion offering a Napoleon Perdis lip gloss with each bottle of Skyy Vodka bought from Thirsty Camel Bottleshops.
The McCusker Centre had complained to ABAC that the promotion was a clear attempt to appeal to young women and encourage under-age drinking. ABAC seemed to uncritically accept the advertiser’s claim that lip gloss does not have particular appeal to children or adolescents.
Lip gloss doesn’t appeal to adolescents, really?!
A colleague recently visited a Napoleon Perdis sales outlet and asked the staff if they had anything for younger girls and teenagers. They immediately offered lip gloss. When asked if this was appropriate for teenagers they responded, “The girls really love it”.
Click here to read the full determination report [PDF 68KB] or see the ‘Alcohol in the Media’ section below for media coverage of the decision.
Don’t forget to contact us if you see any alcohol promotions that you think would appeal to young people or encourage risky drinking.

Community Alcohol Grants

The Community Alcohol Grants Program, funded by Healthway, the Drug and Alcohol Office and the WA Department of Health (Public Health Division), provides funding to eligible groups in WA to support them in identifying and addressing issues of alcohol related harm.
Two types of grants are available, up to $5,000 and over $5,000. Eligible projects are required to focus on health promotion or the prevention of harm from alcohol or alcohol-related injury using a population or community based approach.
For further information about eligibility criteria and applications, please visit the Healthway website:

Strong Spirit Strong Mind Metro Project Community Grants

Funding of up to $3000 is available for community organisations that aim to support the Aboriginal community in the Perth Metro area to undertake activities or initiatives that prevent and/or reduce hazardous and harmful alcohol and drug use in the local community. 
The Strong Spirit Strong Mind (SSSM) Metro Project Grants are about encouraging families and communities to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills to choose healthy lifestyles, promote healthy environments and create safer communities.
Click here for more information and the application package.

Alcohol in the Media

This is just a selection of media since the last edition of Alcohol Action Station in 2011.

Booze-related violence to peak on Australia Day
ABC News, 24 January 2012
Australia Day is the country's peak day for youth drunkenness and assaults, according to a new study sponsored by Vic Health.

Vodka brand gets nod to add gloss to its marketing
Sydney Morning Herald, 23 January 2012
An alcohol company has been given the green light to offer free lip gloss as a promotional tool because the make-up product does not appeal to young people, the alcohol industry's advertising complaints panel has determined.

Tighten booze marketing to young - doctors urge

Herald Sun, 27 December 2011
Doctors are calling for tougher restrictions on how alcohol can be marketed to young people.

Time called on the role of alcohol in society’s woes [PDF 383KB]
The West Australian, 27 December 2011
The experts agree that urgent action is needed on alcohol abuse.

Bourbon brain snap
Sunday Times, 18 December 2011
Three WA men suffered horrific burns after branding themselves with novelty branding irons given away as part of a Jack Daniel’s promotion.

Fatal crashes more common in country WA: Police
ABC News, 23 December 2011
New Western Australia Police figures reveal alcohol is the proven cause of at least one in five fatal road crashes in regional WA.

Bidyadanga applies for liquor ban at community

ABC News, 21 December 2011
WA's largest Aboriginal community is applying to have the state's toughest alcohol restrictions introduced.

2000 cancer deaths avoidable
The West Australian, 15 December 2011
Almost 2000 lives could be saved each year if West Australians pursued healthier lifestyles to reduce their chances of getting preventable cancers, according to the Cancer Council WA.

Study links density of bottle shops to poor health
ABC News, 19 December 2011
A study has found people who live in poorer parts of Victoria have easier access to takeaway alcohol than people who live in wealthier parts of the state.

The Facts

In the previous month:
  1. 8.3% of male university students have had their property damaged by someone under the influence of alcohol.
  2. 27.2% of university students have had to take care of another student who had drunk too much.
  3. 12.5% of university students have had a serious argument whilst drinking.
Source: Hallett J, et al. Undergraduate student drinking and related harms at an Australian university: web-based survey of a large random sample. BMC Public Health. 2012; 12(37).
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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