Welcome to Alcohol Action Station e-newsletter edition #66
Issue no. 66
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • Review of WA’s Liquor Control Act
  • New Report Names and Shames Irresponsible Alcohol Promotions
  • Alcohol in the Media
  • The Facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

We hope you’ve enjoyed the festive season and have had a lovely start to the year! 

You would have noticed that action on alcohol hasn't slowed down over the Christmas break and that there’s been a lot of media attention on alcohol issues lately.
In this edition we’ll focus on two of the issues that have come up in the media lately – the review of WA’s Liquor Control Act and the release of the Alcohol Adverting Review Board’s Fourth Report.
Happy reading!
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Megan DePiazz, Injury Control Council WA 

did you know?

Two important reports have been released this week. 

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Review of WA’s Liquor Control Act

An independent review of WA’s Liquor Control Act has made 141 recommendations on how our liquor laws could be improved. The recommendations have a strong focus on protecting children and young people from the harmful effects of alcohol. TheWestAustralian
The general reaction to the report from health groups, police and the community has been positive. However, Bradley Woods, CEO of the Australian Hotels Association (WA), has criticised the review, claiming it champions the causes of WA Police and health alcohol groups over the interests of the hospitality industry.
The report is particularly strong in terms of recommendations on protecting children and young people. Some of the recommendations of the report include:
  • Introducing secondary supply legislation, which would make it an offence to supply alcohol to a child without their parents’ consent
  • Giving police powers to conduct controlled purchase operations at licensed premises with underage young people
  • Curbs on alcohol promotion
  • Ongoing extensive education campaigns targeting cultural change
  • Outlet density to be included as a matter the licensing authority may have regard to in assessing the public interest criteria of liquor licence applications
  • Making it a criminal offence to deliver liquor to juveniles (online sales)
  • Larger licensed premises to pay bigger licensing fees than smaller venues. These funds would be used for the public education campaigns.
The report makes the important point that selling alcohol is a privilege and not a right and that it needs to be carefully done.
While health groups have expressed reservations on some recommendations regarding access to alcohol, they have broadly welcomed it as a careful, balanced perspective and called on government to implement its key recommendations.

Want more?
The full report is available on the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor website [PDF 3.07 MB].
Check out our Alcohol in the Media section below for media coverage of the issue. 

New Report Names and Shames Irresponsible Alcohol Promotions

The Alcohol Advertising Review Board has received 89 complaints relating to the placement and content of alcohol advertisements in the six months from 18 March to 30 August 2013, a new report shows.  

AARB fourth reportThe 52 complaints that were upheld raise important issues around alcohol promotion, particularly the exposure of children to alcohol advertising and irresponsible promotions by retailers.
Alcohol promotion through sports popular with children is identified as a major issue of concern for the AARB. Examples include:
  • Carlton Draught sponsorship of AFL, including a complaint received from a concerned parent for a Carlton Draught AFL Tipping email sent to their 9 year old child;
  • VB sponsorship of Australian cricket, including the 2013 Australian Ashes Cricket team;
  • Alcohol sponsorship of the 2013 NRL State of Origin series by XXXX and VB, including VB logos on players’ uniforms and in dressing rooms, half-time entertainment featuring promotions for VB, and player television interviews in front of XXXX logos; and
  • The use of sporting heroes in alcohol advertisements, such as notable rugby players in XXXX and Hahn Super Dry beer advertisements.
Irresponsible and inappropriate promotions by liquor retailers are also identified in the report, raising the question ‘how low can they go?’:
  • The Facebook pages of Premix King, a regional Victoria liquor retailer, which the AARB Panel found heavily promoted excessive consumption of alcohol, with particular appeal to young people, and used inappropriate language and images;
  • Thirsty Camel Bottleshops Victoria and NSW Facebook pages, which featured images found to promote excessive consumption of alcohol and that would appeal to young people; and
  • Woolworths’ promotion offering two 5 Litre wine casks for $20.
In a foreword to the report, the Chair of the WA Health Promotion Foundation and former Federal AMA President Dr Rosanna Capolingua says, “Of particular concern is sponsorship of Australia’s most popular sporting codes being used to promote alcohol to wide audiences.  Many of our national sporting codes are drowning in alcohol promotions and the Australian public has had enough of it.”
Dr Capolingua also notes that ”obviously, any industry talk of self-regulation is just lip service” and calls for “proper regulation of alcohol advertising and promotion in Australia”.
During the period covered by the report, the AARB published 56 determinations, compared with just 16 by the alcohol and advertising industry’s voluntary self-regulation process, the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code Scheme.  The AARB had 52 determinations upholding complaints at least in part, compared with just one by the industry group.
Director of the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, Professor Mike Daube said, “We will keep naming and shaming irresponsible alcohol advertising until the companies change their ways.  It is simply appalling that at a time when there is so much awareness of alcohol harms in the community, alcohol companies continue to heavily promote cheap liquor, and advertise their products in a way that so clearly exposes children to substantial levels of inappropriate alcohol advertising and promotion."
Want more?

Visit for the full report.
Read the article in The West Australian for more.

Alcohol in the Media

Battle over booze laws rages in WA
The West Australian, 15 January 2014
Hoteliers and health advocates are at loggerheads over suggestions Western Australia’s liquor laws should include prosecutions for adults who provide juveniles booze without parental permission.
Mixed views on booze laws
The West Australian, 15 January 2014
Health experts say WA’s liquor review has gone tough on the harm caused from alcohol by resisting calls for extended trading hours.
O’Farrell blasted for ‘stupid’ comments
Sydney Morning Herald, 15 January 2014
The author of Australia’s largest study into alcohol-related nightlife crime has blasted Premier Barry O’Farrell for “unbelievably stupid” comment that 1am lockouts and 3am closing times would do little to prevent 9pm assaults such as the one from which Daniel Christie died.
Youth drinking targeted in WA liquor law review
WA Today, 14 January 2014
Underage drinking has been targeted in a review of Western Australia’s liquor laws, recommending that adults who supply other people’s children with alcohol should face criminal prosecution. 
Australia, we need to talk about alcohol
The Guardian, 14 January 2014
Australia has already demonstrated that changes in drug culture are possible by drastically reducing our number of smokers.
Woolworths claims liquor ads help to protect children
The Canberra Times, 11 January 2014
A claim cited by Woolworths that exposing children to alcohol advertising helps protect them from “the seductive powers of capitalism” smacks of desperations, one of Australia’s top public health experts says.
Same-day alcohol delivery services slammed by health groups
The Australian, 10 January 2014
Leading health groups have criticised the new alcohol same-day delivery services calling them “irresponsible” and claiming they’ll lead to increased liquor abuse.
Booze gets millions of likes
Alice Springs News, 5 January 2014
Coca Cola Amatil chief John Murphy (Australian, 16/12/13), in a recent revealing mission statement said “creating customers in the on-premise market converts people into going into liquor stores and off-premise and taking product home”.
Greens push for bans on liquor advertising
Sydney Morning Herald, 3 January 2014
The Greens will push for a ban on the promotion of alcohol in sport, arguing that it provides a loophole for the alcohol industry to target children. 

The Facts

Recent research has shown that children absorb sponsorship messages. Australian research found:
  1. 76% of children aged 5 to 12 years were able to correctly match at least one sport with its relevant sponsor.
  2. Children aged 9 to 12 years were more likely to correctly assign a sponsor to a sport than children aged 5 to 8 years (83% compared to 68%).
Source: Pettigrew S, Rosenberg M, Ferguson R, et al. Game on: do children absorb sports sponsorship messages? Public Health Nutrition. 2013; (1):1-8.  
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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