FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NSW Liquor Stores Already Leading in Reducing Harm from Alcohol
March 15, 2013 -
NSW Liquor Stores have already adopted a range of measures to reduce alcohol harms in the community with the onus now on working with the health, police, and community in targeted campaigns to shift the drinking habits of the small minority of the population who continue to drink at harmful levels.
In response to the so-called 'Alcohol Summit', Mr Terry Mott, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) said today "Liquor Stores have effective programs in place to address the community concerns levelled at liquor stores.
"ALSA supports individual responsibility for all consumers and has introduced ID-25 which trains staff to ask for ID if the person looks under 25; and Don't Buy It For Them which is a program designed to stop secondary supply of alcohol to minors. The ALSA Guide for Responsible Product Ranging Decisions has been developed to assist liquor store operators to make product ranging choices to minimise potential misuse and subsequent harm related to excessive consumption of alcohol.
"It is disappointing that certain members of the public health community have decided to trash the reputations of those who work in the field by participating in a stunt of a Summit. Clearly, these individuals and groups are part of an anti-alcohol advocacy industry whose goal is not to minimise harms but to see alcohol treated like tobacco.
"Australians are already paying some of the highest taxes for alcohol in the world, yet these groups want to make it even more expensive and punish the vast majority of people who drink in moderation.
"We acknowledge that there are some individuals who abuse the products that we sell, and that these people place an unreasonable burden on the health, and emergency services workers, however the facts show that there is no epidemic of alcohol abuse in Australia. The 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report and ABS data demonstrates1 that levels of risky drinking have stabilised or are falling while at the same time rates of abstinence - particularly among people below the drinking age and pregnant women - are increasing.
"With respect to alarmist calls about outlet density leading to more assault, again the facts2 demonstrate that assaults are falling at the same time as significant growth in licences numbers and large format liquor stores has occurred.
"Pre-loading has also been given a negative term despite it being a common and entrenched activity for generations of Australians to enjoy an alcoholic beverage at home or with friends prior to heading out for a meal or further socialising. We have existing laws that prevent the entry of intoxicated persons onto licence premises.
"The goal now is to change the behaviours of individuals who drink to get drunk which is why our members also support DrinkWise - a not-for-profit, independent research and social change agency funded by the Australian alcohol industry that is dedicated to building a safer drinking culture in Australia", Mr Mott said.
SOURCE: Australian Liquor Stores Association
For further information:
Terry Mott CEO Australian Liquor Stores Association Inc (ALSA)
(0418) 557 290 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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