Volumetric tax and increased legal drinking age

I believe there should be a volumetric tax on all alcoholic beverages, combined with a rise in the legal age to 25 years of age.

Brains are not yet shielded from this poison by myelination till 25.Alcohol is contributing to lower academic achievement and lower productivity.

If this higher tax causes low-income families to drink less alcohol, this will be very beneficial.

A tax is better than a  floor price, since the revenue can be spent on things really needed by the community—and could help to pay for some of the $36b. said to be the annual cost of alcohol to the nation.  A floor price would simply enrich the liquor industry.

However, as long as alcohol is glamorised and presented by the media as a “normal” part of life, it’s hard to make headway, regardless of price.

Dr B. Christina Naylor

Alcohol and violence meeting at Sydney Town Hall

I attended the meeting on violence and alcohol at Sydney Town Hall last night. Some good may come out of it, but it was a talk fest. It was plain to see that the liquor industry representatives had a vested interest and that the two liberal politicians talked political speak and promised little and the Minister for Hospitality thinks more about the providers than the public. I think that Clover Moore should not be blamed for the proliferation of outlets at the Cross. The police and Don Wedderburn provided a factual account of the problem and clearly indicated solutions that would work.

Some general observations from the discussions I made included:

  • There is a culture of aggression and violence in Australia. Alcohol is not the sole cause of aggression but will make it worse.
  • The pubs blame drug use but if that is so they add to the problem with alcohol.
  • Why have 24 hour licences? A figure of 287 was given and I presume that would be state-wide.
  • They talk of a 1 am lock out and closing at 3 am. Why not 12 midnight and 1 am.?
  • The industry reckons that they serve alcohol responsibly. Nonsense. If they did why is there the need for plastic “glasses” after midnight?
  • The pubs blame people for “preloading” with alcohol before going out. Wherever they preload they should not be served when intoxicated.
  • There are too many outlets. I would qualify that as too many large “drinking only” outlets or dance parties but overall there are too many outlets in what is really a residential area.
  • The Cross was compared to Sydney’s Darling Harbour where there is a low or negligible level of drunkenness and assault.
  • There needs to be a study on young peoples’ needs.
  • There needs to be transport for late night revellers.
  • The taxi council has not been consulted about taxi services.
  • There was criticism that moving people with transport would just move the problem to another area. Don Wedderburn said that this had not happened in Newcastle and could not happen if there were uniform closing laws.
  • Advertising and marketing of alcohol must be curbed.
  • Better lighting is needed in the streets at night.
  • One person from the floor said that he did a one day responsible service of alcohol course but only half the time was devoted to practical ways to identify and respond to affected people.
  • The police have a great presence when something goes wrong but why aren’t they out and visible every night with zero tolerance?
  • One good outcome is that an audit of Kings Cross licensed outlets began last night but any action as a result must be state-wide.

You have heard all this before. Why should we wait another year or more for something to be done that satisfies the people and not big business.

Cheers,

Michael Stevens.