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Federal government criticised for inaction over alcohol policy development

The federal government has received a Fizzer award from the National Alliance of Action on Alcohol (NAAA) for its inaction in the development and implementation of effective alcohol policy in 2014. The NAAA developed a scorecard in 2013 to measure the policy response of Australian jurisdictions.

According to the Alliance, the performance of the Australian federal government in 2014 was very poor which resulted in the lowest score overall of only 9%. This represents a startling 20% drop from 2013. It is interesting to note that no Australian state or territory scored above 50%.


Federal government accused of inaction over alcohol policy development

Professor Mike Daube, alcohol spokesperson from the Public Health Association of Australia and co-chair of the NAAA said, "The majority of jurisdictions again did not score well this year for their alcohol policies, with all scoring well below a pass grade. The Australian government was by far the lowest performing jurisdiction in the country and in recognition of this has received the 2014 Fizzers award."

The 'most improved' award went to NSW which gained an additional 10 points over 2013 to achieve a result of 41%. This was largely due to the introduction of a number of alcohol reforms which included 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks in Sydney's CBD.

Michael Thorn, chief executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, said "The results of this year's National Alcohol Policy scorecard highlight that NSW is on the right track when it comes to the prevention and reduction of the state's heavy alcohol toll. Their improved scorecard reflects the strong action taken by the government following the tragic events in Sydney last summer, which saw the death of Daniel Christie and a community campaign led by medical, public health and law enforcement organisations."

Three areas have been identified by the NAAA as priorities - alcohol pricing and taxation, alcohol marketing and promotion and alcohol availability - and indicated that these need to be supported by strong information and education programmes.


Source  :  Hospitality Magazine, 8 January 2015