Key must not turn on alcohol lockout laws

Sep 15, 2015

OPINION, TOBY HALL: Two years ago, on any Friday or Saturday night, the emergency department at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney would be awash with victims of alcohol-related bashings and accidents. It was a war zone.

Now, 18 months after the suite of measures known as Sydney’s “lockout laws” dramatically changed things for the better, an array of special interest groups are working to have them watered down or struck from the books.

 

Media Release: A doubling in the number of Newcastle’s licensed premises confirms success of the “Newcastle Conditions”

Aug 5, 2015

4 August 2015: Recent figures provided by Newcastle Police show that the total number of licenced premises in inner Newcastle have more than doubled (110%) since the modest enforceable reduction in late trading hours across the whole precinct was introduction in March 2008 (see table below).

Fears of alcohol-fuelled violence fear are fading

Aug 5, 2015

HONEYSUCKLE is the most popular, Hamilton can be dangerous.

Newcastle West lacks identity and the perception of other late-night Newcastle precincts may not match the reality.

Read more

MEDIA RELEASE: Newtown alcohol restrictions missing key ingredient

Aug 1, 2015

1 August 2015:Newtown alcohol restrictions missing key ingredient

Newtown publicans’ decision to take matters into their own hands and introduce self-imposed alcohol restrictions is a great step towards reducing violence in the area, however they’re missing the key ingredient – reduced trading hours.

Newtown publicans agreed yesterday to introduce 3am lock outs and restrictions on some high alcohol content drinks on Friday and Saturday nights in an attempt to reduce the alcohol problems in the area.

Last Drinks coalition spokesperson and President of the Police Association of NSW, Scott Weber said that while its great to see the publicans looking to the Kings Cross and Newcastle alcohol restrictions as an example, a full suite of measures, including reduced trading hours, is needed.

“It’s great to see Newtown publicans taking serious action to reduce alcohol–related violence on our streets, but unfortunately without reduced trading hours as part of the mix, chances are this won’t have as big an impact as we need to see,” Mr Weber said.

“Lock outs make headlines and are necessary, but only as a part of a suite of measures. Reduced trading hours is they key, missing ingredient.

“Now we really need to see the State Government step in and ensure we have measures to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence in hotspot areas right across the state.

“We know what works – reduced trading hours combined with lock out and restrictions on high alcohol-content drinks. It’s been proven in Newcastle and again in Kings Cross. The Government has the solution at its fingertips; now it’s just a matter of taking action and introducing the measures statewide.

“We can’t sit back and allow the carnage on our streets to continue. We know that the combination of reduced trading hours, lock-outs and restrictions on high alcohol content drinks is the way to significantly reduce alcohol-related assaults, so why are we waiting to take action?

The Last Drinks coalition represents NSW emergency service workers and includes doctors, police, nurses and paramedics.

Visit www.lastdrinks.org.au for more information.

 

Trends in estimated alcohol-related emergency department presentations in Australia

Jun 22, 2015

The National Drug Research Institute released the latest Bulletin as part of the National Alcohol Indictors Project, Trends in estimated alcohol-related emergency department presentations in Australia 2005-06 to 2011-12.

Key findings from the Bulletin include:

– The rate of alcohol-related ED presentations for women in 2011-12 was 3.41 per 1000 persons, an increase of 44 per cent on the 2.36 per 1000 figure recorded in 2005-06.

– By comparison, the rate of male alcohol-related weekend ED presentations was 5.66 per 1000 persons, a 30 per cent increase compared to 4.33/1000 in 2005-06.

– The rate of alcohol-related ED presentation for girls aged 15-19 increased 63 per cent from 2005-06 to 2011-12, from 4.6/1000 to 7.5/1000. By comparison the rate for males in the same age group rose 21 per cent, from 10/1000 to 12.9/1000. This appears to be the highest rate of any age group.

– The rate of alcohol-related ED presentations for young males, aged between 15 and 29, appears higher than the rest of the population.

Newtown latest example of need for state-wide alcohol restrictions

Jun 22, 2015

MEDIA RELEASE, 21 June 2015: Reports of increased destructive behavior in Newtown since the introduction of the greater Sydney alcohol restrictions highlight the need to expand the restrictions to alcohol hotspots across the state, emergency service workers say.

National framework for action to prevent alcohol-related family violence

Jun 17, 2015

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education has released its national framework for the prevention of alcohol-related family violence. The framework outlines the policies and programs Australian governments can implement which will have a tangible impact on the rates of family violence in Australia.

Click here to see the Framework. 

 

MEDIA RELEASE: Most violent pubs list shows need to take measures to other communities

May 29, 2015

29 May, 2015: The list of the state’s most violent licensed venues released today again highlights that the new alcohol measures are working, but need to be rolled out to other communities battling alcohol-fuelled violence, emergency service workers said.

The list, which features only venues with 12 or more reported incidents in 12 months, shows there has been a 39 per cent fall in the number of violent incidents at venues on the government’s list in the wake of the introduction of the alcohol laws.

However it also shows that the issue of alcohol-fuelled violence is not restriction to the greater Sydney CBD where the measures are in place. The list includes venues in areas such as Coffs Harbour, Terrigal Hotel, Neutral Bay, Parramatta, Miranda, Ballina, Campbelltown and Broken Hill.

Last Drinks coalition spokesperson and Health Services Union Secretary Gerard Hayes said that while it’s heartening to see the number of violent venues on the list dropping, too many innocent people are still falling victim to alcohol-fuelled violence.

“This is yet more proof the current modest alcohol restrictions are working and need to remain in place,” Mr Hayes said.

“But it’s also a sign that we need to be looking at introducing the protections to other communities around the state.

“The simple fact is that too many lives are still being shattered at the hands of alcohol-fuelled violence.

“The State Government has a responsibility to act to introduce measures that reduce alcohol-fuelled violence in any community that needs it.

“The measures have been hugely successful in the greater Sydney CBD, but that doesn’t mean we can pretend the problem has been solved.

“There is sound evidence pointing to the fact that reducing trading hours, restricting the sale of high alcohol-content drinks and introducing lock-outs significantly reduces the number of alcohol-related assaults. Other communities deserve the benefits that Newcastle and the greater CBD has witnessed.

“Our doctors, nurses, paramedics and police in communities right across the state see the cost of alcohol-related violence first hand every single day. We know how critical it is that something is done to protect people across the state, and so does the community.”

The Last Drinks coalition represents NSW emergency service workers and includes doctors, police, nurses and paramedics.

Alcohol in Australia: Young people preloading and getting drunk in greater numbers

Apr 30, 2015

The number of young people drinking to get drunk rose to nearly 60 per cent in the past year, while 73 per cent had preloaded on cheaper drinks at home before going out, according to a comprehensive survey of Australian’s drinking habits.

Newcastle lockout laws success replicated in Sydney

Apr 17, 2015

THE introduction of Newcastle-style liquor laws to Sydney’s city centre late-night venues has lead to a ‘‘dramatic’’ and ‘‘spectacular’’ reduction in assaults by as much as 40 per cent, a new analysis shows.

The result is comparable to the drop in assaults in Newcastle after similar changes to liquor laws made in the city in 2008, Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research director Don Weatherburn said.

The change was ‘‘one of the most dramatic effects I’ve seen in my time of policy interventions to reduce crime’’ and both precincts ‘‘are now much safer than they were,” Dr Weatherburn said.

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