Welcome to the Alcohol Action Station e-newsletter edition #10
Issue no. 10
In this Issue
  • Welcome to Alcohol Action Station
  • Did you know?
  • show your support for action on alcohol
  • action station: take action against alcohol ads near schools
  • Exciting employment opportunity
  • invitation: Young people and alcohol - a solution focused seminar
  • Alcohol in the media
  • the facts

Welcome to Alcohol Action Station

Right now, all of us in WA have an important opportunity to encourage serious action by the WA Government to prevent harm from alcohol in our state.
Do you remember the report by the WA Parliament Education and Health Standing Committee we mentioned in edition 5 of Alcohol Action Station? (We won’t be offended it you don’t – keep reading to find out more or refresh your memory here). In the next few weeks, the WA Government will be providing their response to the report. By showing our support, the WA Government will see just how much the community wants action to prevent harm from alcohol among young people. Keep reading to see how you can join us in showing your support!
Did you see the Health + Medicine feature in last Wednesday’s The West Australian newspaper? The feature, titled Alcohol crisis: How can we stop the drinking culture shattering young lives, was devoted to the issues surrounding alcohol and young people. One of the main messages running through the feature was that we all have a role to play in preventing harm from alcohol in our community. Don’t worry if you missed it, you can read some of the articles in the Alcohol in the Media section below. We hope you heed this call to action and join us in showing your support for action on alcohol.
At the national level, we are disappointed to learn of Treasurer Wayne Swan’s decision to reverse earlier commitments that October’s tax forum would consider alcohol tax issues. Despite clear commitments in July from the Treasurer that alcohol tax would be discussed, and the Henry Review’s conclusion that the alcohol tax system is “incoherent” and needs reform, the list of participants the Treasurer released recently did not include even one place for a public health organisation or academic to attend. As a result there was no prospect that alcohol tax issues would be discussed at the forum. Organisations including ours have expressed concern about this omission. We will let you know of developments on this front.
Until next time,
Julia Stafford, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Mary Ashe, Injury Control Council of WA

did you know?

80% of alcohol consumed by people aged 14 to 24 years is consumed in ways that put the drinker’s (and others’) health at risk of short term harm e.g. falls, assault injuries, road crashes, burns.

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

Show Your Support for Action on Alcohol

In June this year, the Education and Health Standing Committee - chaired by Dr Janet Woollard and made up of members of WA Parliament from all parties - tabled their final report titled Alcohol: Reducing the Harm and Curbing the Culture of Excess following a thorough inquiry into prevention and treatment services for alcohol problems in WA.
The WA Government will soon be called upon to give their response to the report’s 60 recommendations. Join us in encouraging the WA Government to take action without delay on the report’s recommendations.
The report recommends action in a wide range of areas including many that will have a particular impact on alcohol-related harm among young people:
  • Make drug and alcohol education a mandatory part of the curriculum in all schools.
  • Make it illegal to supply alcohol to a minor without parental consent.
  • Take action to phase out alcohol promotions from times and placements with high exposure to young people up to 25 years.
  • Take action to replace sport sponsorship by alcohol companies.
  • Allow Police to conduct ‘controlled purchasing operations’ to help identify and respond to liquor retailers who sell alcohol to minors.
  • Take action to introduce a minimum floor price to prevent the sale of the cheapest forms of alcohol.
  • Provide the resources for a large-scale alcohol-related public health media campaign and a comprehensive education campaign for parents on the dangers of supplying alcohol to minors.
Join us in showing support!
Ask your local MP and the Government to take a strong stance in addressing alcohol related harm in the community by supporting the recommendations of the Education and Health Standing Committee.

Who to contact
Find the contact details for your local MP here:
Premier, the Hon Colin Barnett MLA:
Minister for Mental Health, the Hon Helen Morton MLC:
Minister for Health, the Hon Dr Kim Hames MLA:
What you might like to say
  • I support strong and effective action to prevent harm from alcohol among young people.
  • I urge the WA Government to implement the recommendations of the Education and Health Standing Committee that will have a particular impact on young people. [You may like to provide some examples of the areas of action you particularly support – see above]
  • I am very concerned that 80% of alcohol consumed by young people aged 14-24 years is consumed in ways that put the drinker’s (and others) health at risk of short term harm including through falls, assault injuries and road crashes.
  • It is of great concern that there is a culture of drinking to get drunk and young people are drinking at younger and younger ages.
  • Solid evidence exists to support strong action on effective liquor licensing and controls in areas such as the availability, advertising and price of alcohol.
  • The Government should introduce legislation to enable the Police to act more effectively on sales to minors, to prevent unauthorised provision of alcohol to minors, and to ensure tougher controls on drink driving.
Want more information?
Download the full report of the Education and Health Standing Committee.
Find more key facts and stats about alcohol and young people at

Action Station: Take Action Against Alcohol Ads Near Schools

Outdoor alcohol advertisements – such as those on billboards and bus shelters – are not allowed within 150m of schools according to the Outdoor Media Association guidelines. Despite this, we know it still happens. Here are several recent examples which demonstrate that these guidelines are regularly breached.
Just last week, the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth together with Cancer Council WA and Methodist Ladies’ College (MLC), took action to ensure the removal of a liquor store ad from a bus shelter on Stirling Highway right outside MLC. Many students from MLC and nearby Christ Church Grammar School would have passed the ad on their way to and from school every day.
Only a week or so earlier, Cancer Council WA raised concerns about a billboard on Stirling Highway in Cottesloe which faced Cottesloe Primary School. The billboard advertised a pub and featured the words “Chill, dawg” beside a picture of a bulldog – an image likely to appeal to children. You can read more about it and the other issues it raised in an article from the Post newspaper (PDF 1 Mb).
Why is it a problem?
Outdoor alcohol advertising near schools is guaranteed to have high exposure to young people. This is a major concern given evidence shows young people are highly susceptible to alcohol advertising messages and exposure increases the likelihood that they will start to use alcohol and to drink more if they are already using alcohol. It also shows that industry self-regulation of advertising is not effective in protecting young people from exposure to alcohol promotion.
How you can help
Next time you see an alcohol advertisement (including for a bottle shop, pub or a specific alcoholic product) close to a school, email us. The only way to get alcohol ads near schools removed is through community members voicing their concern. The more examples we have of ads that may breach the guidelines, the stronger the case we can build for changing the current voluntary regulations.
We covered this issue way back in our first edition of Alcohol Action Station – there you can find out more about how to take action against alcohol advertising near schools.

Exciting Employment Opportunity

Interested in issues around road safety, alcohol and young people?

Want to be involved in a new approach to generating action on issues of major community concern?
The Healthy Roads project (part of the Public Health Advocacy Institute) and the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth are currently seeking expressions of interest regarding a Project Officer position from enthusiastic applicants with an interest in public health advocacy and youth engagement.  
Find out more here. (PDF 101Kb)

Invitation: Young People and Alcohol – a Solution Focused Seminar

This free admission seminar is hosted by Investing In Our Youth Inc and sponsored by the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation, Healthway and the South West Population Health Unit.
Speakers will include:
Dr Rhonda Oliver, Chair, Investing In Our Youth
WA Police Commissioner, Dr Karl O’Callaghan
Bruce Clark, Leigh Clark Foundation
Prof Mike Daube, Director, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Michael Thorn, CEO, Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation
Date: Friday 30 September 2011
Time: 9:45 am – 2:30 pm
Location: Roelands Mission, Seven Hills Road, Roelands (turn off Coalfields Highway)
Who should attend: Anyone concerned about young people and alcohol-related harm, including parents and community members.
RSVP and enquiries: Email Carmen at– numbers are capped, register early!

Alcohol in the Media

Don’t forget - if you see a relevant article in your local newspaper, please send it our way.
How to cut drinking and the harm it causes (PDF 203Kb)
The West Australian, Health + Medicine, 31 August 2011
If we followed the evidence on effective alcohol control we’d raise the price of alcohol along with the drinking age, pubs would close at midnight and nightclubs would shut their doors at 3am.
Who is responsible for the abuse? (PDF 251Kb)
The West Australian, Health + Medicine, 31 August 2011
Opinion piece by Tonya McCusker, concerned parent – We all have a responsibility to play a part in addressing the youth binge-drinking culture that has such broad and highly damaging consequences for our community.
Young bingers risk brain damage (PDF 214Kb)
The West Australian, Health + Medicine, 31 August 2011
Regular binge drinking can irreparably damage young brains leading to problems with memory, planning and organisation, impulse control and mood regulation, according to mounting evidence that has health advocates worried.
High risk comes with high consumption (PDF 488 Kb)
The West Australian, Health + Medicine, 31 August 2011
Warning bells are ringing over concerns about the health and social implications of a shift in Australia’s drinking culture.
Alarm as booze ads flourish online (PDF 80Kb)

The West Australian online, 27 August 2011
Health experts have raised concerns about the increasing amount of alcohol advertising on social networking sites and YouTube.

The Facts

  1. One of the main reasons I drink is to get drunk’ report 43.3% of 16 to 17 year old WA school students.
  2. 75% of the WA Police operational budget is directed towards dealing with alcohol-related issues.
  3. Alcohol is a factor in approximately 90% of calls for police attendance between the hours of 10pm and 2am.
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.

Copyright © 2011 Alcohol Action Station, All rights reserved.

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