Welcome to Alcohol Action Station edition #141
Issue no. 141
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • WA Election Commitment to Remove Alcohol Ads From Public Transport
  • Action Station: Encourage Action on Alcohol Ahead of the WA Election
  • WA Police Call For Liquor Restrictions in South and Port Hedland
  • Packaged Liquor in Victoria: ‘Big-Box Boom’
  • Health and Safety Prioritised Over One-Stop Shopping in WA
  • Alcohol Advertising Review Board Update
  • Alcohol in the News
  • The Facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

In the lead up to the State Election, and for the first time ever in WA, the extent of alcohol-related harm has been estimated for each of WA’s59 Lower House Electoral Districts.
Prepared by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and the National Drug Research Institute, in association with the WA Alcohol and Youth Action Coalition, the report estimates alcohol-Image of alcohol-related harms report coverrelated harm in three important areas: deaths, police recorded assaults and emergency department presentations (where data is available).
Assaults seemed to be a particular problem in regional WA as well as some areas of metropolitan Perth. Examples from the report reveal that between 2010 and 2013 there were an estimated:

  • 1,234 alcohol-related serious assaults in the Kimberley electorate (16,858 electors counted)
  • 829 alcohol-related serious assaults in the Pilbara electorate (17,818 electors counted)
  • 715 alcohol-related serious assaults in the Kalgoorlie electorate (18,625 electors counted)
  • 530 alcohol-related serious assaults in the North West Central electorate (10,249 electors counted)
  • 1,709 alcohol-related serious assaults in the area including the Perth electorate (36,049 electors counted)
  • More than 500 alcohol-related serious assaults recorded in the areas including the Victoria Park (27,689 electors counted) and Fremantle electorates (38,332 electors counted).

McCusker Centre Executive Officer, Julia Stafford said that the “estimates clearly show that alcohol harms are a significant problem across the State.” 
“For political parties keen to reduce pressure on hospitals, ambulances and police resources, a commitment to evidence-based policies to prevent and reduce harm from alcohol would go a long way to achieving this,” Ms Stafford said.
Want more?
Read the
media release, media coverage and full report.
Check out the individual factsheets for each electorate
Until next time,
Danica Keric, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth

did you know?

Each week, 10 deaths 298 hospitalisations and 98 domestic violence assaults occur in WA as a result of alcohol consumption.

Source: WA Alcohol and Youth Action Coalition.

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WA Election Commitment to Remove Alcohol Ads From Public Transport

Roger Cook MLA has announced that WA Labor, if elected, would restrict alcohol advertising on public transport assets, including buses, bus stops andImage of Roger Cook MLA speaking at PHAIWA pre-election forum train stations.

In an interview with 9 News, Mr Cook said, “Research has consistently shown that there is a direct link between exposure of alcohol advertising and alcohol consumption. We have a responsibility to our children and the wider community to reduce the amount to which they are exposed to alcohol advertising.”
Earlier this week, the McCusker Centre team attended the Public Health Pre-Election Forum at which this commitment was made. Organised by the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA, the forum provided an opportunity for all major parties to present their public health policies.
The McCusker Centre has written to WA Labor to express our support for this evidence-based policy which prioritises the health and well-being of WA’s children and young people.
Want more?
Watch the Channel 9 News clip on Facebook and read media coverage.
Read WA Labor’s media release.

Action Station: Encourage Action on Alcohol Ahead of the WA Election

With the WA Election fast approaching, it’s a great opportunity to let your local candidates know what you are concerned about and what action you would like them to take.Image of a megaphone
The WA Alcohol and Youth Action Coalition released its election platform calling for action in six key areas to protect children and young people from the harmful effects of alcohol: reduce young people’s exposure to alcohol promotion, reduce underage access to alcohol; continue support for alcohol education programs; ensure fair liquor licensing processes; support WA to lead Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders prevention; and consider measures to ensure that alcohol is not sold at unreasonably low prices.
Politicians are supposed to represent the interests of their constituents, so they need to know what issues you are concerned about. So let them know!
How do I take action?
All election candidates have now been announced. You can check out your local candidates on the main parties’ websites: WA Liberals, WA Labor, Greens WA, and WA Nationals, or on the WA Electoral Commission website.
You can contact your local candidate in many ways – call them, email them, write a letter or meet with them.
Check out the factsheets on alcohol-related harm in your electorate to help inform your opinion.
For tips on how to write a letter to or meet with a politician, check out the Public Health Advocacy Institute’s Advocacy in Action toolkit (pages 56 to 59).

WA Police Call For Liquor Restrictions in South and Port Hedland

WA Police Commissioner Dr Karl O’Callaghan has asked the Director of Liquor Licensing to strengthen alcohol restrictions in WA’s Pilbara, including a ban on the bottleshop sales of full-strength beer and pre-mixed drinks, restrictions on bottleshop trading hours and a ban on bottleshops selling alcohol to taxi drivers who collect it for their drunken passengers. Image of ABC news article
“Assaults have become so common, including in broad daylight and in front of shoppers and their kids, that the local council’s military-grade surveillance cameras are an indispensable tool,” The Australian reported.
The rate of assaults had doubled in South Hedland over the past year, and police in the region recognise that “we cannot arrest our way out of this problem”.
The proposal by WA Police is supported by a wide range of community groups in the region, as well as the Port Hedland Mayor, Camillo Blanco. Speaking about surveillance videos showing harrowing violence the Mayor said, “What we’re seeing in these videos is a destruction of a whole generation of people.”
Want more?
Read more about the WA Police request in The Australian, The West Australian and ABC News.

Packaged Liquor in Victoria: ‘Big-Box Boom’

New research from Victoria shows that there has been explosive growth in the number of ‘big box’ liquor stores established in the state over the last 15 years, and increase of 49% from 2002 to 2016. Image of report cover
“Dan Murphy’s has grown from three outlets to more than 60 (43 at the time of reporting), while the Wefarmers equivalent First Choice had no stores in 2001 and now has 25 Victorian outlets,” said Dr Michael Livingston, the report author.
There is strong evidence linking increases in alcohol’s availability to increases in health problems, hospital admissions, treatment episodes, ambulance attendances, as well as to family violence and child maltreatment.
This research will inform a review of Victoria’s liquor laws. Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) have recommended making it harder to open new packaged liquor outlets, closing a loophole that allows kids to drink alcohol in Victorian pubs, introduction of a risk based licensing system, and changes so that communities can have a greater say about the introduction of alcohol outlets in their neighbourhoods.
Want more?
Read the report by Dr Michael Livingston, media coverage and a media release.
Read about FARE’s submission to the review of Victoria’s liquor laws.

Health and Safety Prioritised Over One-Stop Shopping in WA

Caitlin Cameron from Cancer Council WA has written about the alcohol industry’s obsession with one-stop shopping and recent liquor licensing decisions in WA that have attempted to rein in the trend of bottle shops next to supermarkets. Image of DrinkTank article
Caitlin noted that “The Liquor Commission has observed that, "a liquor outlet at every corner delicatessen or beside every supermarket or regularly visited retail outlet to satisfy the convenience of some members of the public is not what the community would countenance or expect, and would not be, in the Commission’s view, in accordance with the provisions and the intent of the Act.”
“Liquor licensing legislation plays an important role in reducing alcohol-related harm…It is hoped that the health and safety of relatively disadvantaged communities will, rightly, continue to be prioritised ahead of the convenience of one-stop shopping,” she concluded.
Want more?
Read the full article on DrinkTank.

Alcohol Advertising Review Board Update

Check out some recent determinations in response to alcohol ad complaints from the Australian community: What can I do?
Remember, if you see an alcohol ad that concerns you, let the AARB know! It’s very simple – either email us, fill in the online form or phone us. All we need is a picture or link to the ad and briefly explain why it concerns you.
To keep up-to-date on AARB determinations, reports and interesting research, follow @AlcoholAdReview on Twitter.

Alcohol in the News

Laundry Eatery gets City of Vincent approval for 7am drinks
Guardian Express, 13 February 2017
Staff at the Old Laundry Eatery will be able to celebrate with champagne at 7am after the City of Vincent council approved an extension of its alcohol serving hours.
Top cop calls for alcohol reduction in Broome due to record rates of violence and suicide
ABC News, 13 February 2017
The status quo of record rates of alcohol-fuelled violence and self-harm cannot continue in Broome, the Kimberley District police superintendent says.
Federal government name Indigenous activist June Oscar as new Social Justice Commissioner
Sydney Morning Herald, 9 February 2017
For her entire adult life, Indigenous activist June Oscar has believed the biggest change can come from the smallest acts.
Health groups want underage drinking in pub loophole closed
Herald Sun, 8 February 2017
Underage children are legally allowed to drink alcohol in Victorian pubs under a loophole health groups are now calling on the State government to close.
Joe Camel in a bottle: Alcohol companies fail to follow their own ad rules during the 2017 Super Bowl
The Conversation (US), 8 February 2017
Alcohol companies used controversial marketing tactics in their 2017 Super Bowl commercials, including the use of animals that are attractive to children and party themes found to influence underage drinking.
Comment – Michael Thorn: Lockout laws are keeping Sydney safe
The Daily Telegraph, 6 February 2017 
Do we really want to roll the dice and risk all we have achieved? 

The Facts

Key asks of the WA Alcohol and Youth Action Coalition for the 2017 WA Election are:
  1. Reduce young people’s exposure to alcohol promotion
  2. Reduce underage access to alcohol
  3. Continue support for alcohol education programs
  4. Ensure fair liquor licensing processes
  5. Support WA to lead Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) prevention
  6. Consider measures to ensure that alcohol is not sold at unreasonably low prices
Source: WA Alcohol and Youth Action Coalition.
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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