Alcohol fuelled violence

WOWSERS OR HEROES?

Over the weekend alcohol-fuelled violence reared its ugly head in Queensland, South Australia and Northern Territory, and these were only the ones that were reported on Monday morning.

In Brisbane’s Courier Mail yesterday it was reported that Tanah Merah’s Mick Brown is determined to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence by educating young people about their alcohol consumption.  Obviously tired of seeing young people harm themselves through alcohol-fuelled violence he has set up Alcohol Intelligence, “a not-for-profit organisation with an awareness program aimed at 15 to 17-year-olds.”

Mick is not alone, there are a myriad of community programs aimed at reducing the level of violence due to alcohol.  So why is it that our governments refuse to see that communities are concerned about our young people and want to change?

Why are they reluctant to bring in interventions that are known to work such as reducing availability through; opening hours, packaged liquor availability, number of venues, online sales, taxation and minimum pricing.

In Byron Bay the Last drinks at 12 campaign is working to transform their town from a place that has one of the HIGHEST levels of alcohol related crime and violence in the State to one of the LOWEST.  A voluntary liquor licensing trial, which has contributed to that impressive reduction, is about to end on October 31. The Last drinks at 12 campaigners want to extend the trial but the decision rests with the state government. Last drinks at 12 is asking that the NSW Government listen to their views before a decision is made.

The NT News reported that Independent MLA Gerry Wood said yesterday he supported trading restrictions on pubs, including lockouts to prevent people roaming between venues, after a man was stabbed to death over the weekend.  This is similar to the Newcastle model that has seen assaults drop by 34% due to the cutting in opening hours and bans on high alcohol content drinks after a certain time.

We wish them all the success and assistance if required.  We also need to look at why some who tried this failed.

Some powerful interests call people WOWSERS for wanting safer communities where people can have a drink and enjoy themselves. They are accused of reducing people’s rights, choices and freedoms. We think everyone has a right and freedom to enjoy themselves on a night out without being assaulted.

GrogWatch proudly supports all those members of local communities who stand up for their community; those who fight for healthy and strong communities by limiting violence that is fuelled by too much alcohol. We think they are heroes.

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