Victoria’s Alcohol Policy Coalition (APC) is a working group made up of individuals from the Australian Drug Foundation, as well as the Australian Medical Association, Cancer Council Victoria, the Public Health Association of Australia, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine, Turning Point, Inner North West Melbourne Medicare Local, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Uniting Church, the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association and the Salvation Army. Funded by VicHealth, the organisation exists as a coordinated, single platform for member organisations to present a united front in trying to reduce and prevent alcohol-related problems. The APC got in touch to announce the launch of their Victorian Alcohol Policy Roadmap.
When it comes to alcohol-related harm in Victoria, the statistics speak for themselves:
- Between 2000 and 2011, alcohol-related ambulance attendances in Melbourne more than trebled and alcohol-related assaults increased by 49%.
- In one year, 2011–12 to 2012–13, alcohol-related ambulance attendances rose by 27% in Melbourne.
- Alcohol-related harms cost the Victorian economy more than $4 billion each year.
- In 2013–14 Victorians were taken into police custody over 10,000 times for being drunk, and over 10,000 on the spot fines were issued for being drunk and disorderly in public.
These figures paint a grim picture, clearly showing alcohol-related harm is continuing to rise in Victoria. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by our politicians either: successive Victorian governments have all expressed concern at the escalation of harms caused by alcohol in our community.
So the question is – what is actually being done to reduce or, better still, prevent alcohol-harm in Victoria?
To help find the answers, in 2014 the APC started a project examining the current state of alcohol law and policy in Victoria, looking at areas for law reform and policy development, with the overall goal of reducing alcohol-related harm in the state.
Recently the APC has seen the fruits of its labour with the launch of the Victorian Alcohol Policy Roadmap, which identifies three key areas where policy development and intervention is needed by the State government and local councils.
These areas are:
- The state’s ability to limit children and young people’s exposure to alcohol advertising;
- the impact of planning laws to moderate the location, density and trading hours of licensed venues; and
- national model laws on secondary supply that include a requirement for responsible service and/or supervision.
Read the APC’s Victorian Alcohol Policy Roadmap now.
As part of this project, the APC has also produced a series of podcasts on the three focus areas:
Podcast #1 discusses alcohol marketing and young people in an interview with world expert David Jernigan, Director of the Centre on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Podcast #2 features a webinar from urban planner, Bonnie Rosen, who discusses the use of planning laws to help reduce alcohol-related harm in Victoria.
Podcast #3 examines the effectiveness of teen drinking laws (secondary supply) in an interview with Geoff Munro from the Australian Drug Foundation.
All three are now available for you to listen to.
We invite you to listen and share your thoughts or reactions to the discussion using twitter (@Alcohol_Policy) or by sending your comments to email@example.com.