NSW named most improved for alcohol policy

GOOD RESULT: Constable Amber Scott puts the blood alcohol readings on the board at a Drink Rite event.
GOOD RESULT: Constable Amber Scott puts the blood alcohol readings on the board at a Drink Rite event.

THE New South Wales Government has been crowned the "most improved" jurisdiction by the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol in recognition of the major alcohol policy reforms introduced during 2014.

The NAAA introduced its National Alcohol Policy Scorecard in 2013 to assess how governments were working to reduce alcohol-related harm in their communities.

This year, the NSW Government's score increased by 10 percentage points to 41% - a reflection of the major alcohol reforms announced last January.

NAAA spokesman Michael Thorn commended the NSW Government for its strong leadership in 2014.

"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. Each day in NSW alcohol is responsible for 66 assaults, 28 emergency department presentations, 142 hospitalisations and three deaths," Mr Thorn said.

"NSW's improved alcohol policy score 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."

The package of measures included the introduction of 3am last drinks and 1.30am lockouts in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD precincts, a state-wide 10pm closing time for all bottle shops, a ban on high-risk liquor promotions, and the introduction of risk-based annual licensing fees for all liquor outlets.

In contrast to the progress shown by NSW, the Federal Government's performance was very poor, scoring the lowest result overall (9%) on the national scorecard and dropping 20% from last year, largely reflecting the lack of action and deep funding cuts in a number of key alcohol policy areas. The ACT Government remained on top for the second year.

ACT - 48%
WA - 45%
NSW - 41%
VIC - 41%
TAS - 36%
QLD - 32%
NT - 30%
SA - 30%

Topics:  alcohol alcohol consumption nsw nsw government

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