Strategic Policy & Advocacy
FARE is committed to advocating for evidenc-based policy measures to address alcohol-related harm, and doesn’t shy away from the challenge of developing and advocating for policies and programs that work, defending the public interest and holding the alcohol industry to account.
To further reduce the burden of alcohol harm, FARE will continue to implement evidence-based alcohol policies that protect children, young people and at-risk communities, stop the sale of cheap alcohol, reduce the availability of alcohol and support a preventive health agenda.
Victoria has one of the highest rates of liquor outlets per capita in Australia, and the state is now reaping the negative consequences of a Liquor Act that for too long has elevated business interests ahead of harm minimisation.
“FARE continues to lead discussions on alcohol policy and prevention strategies across Australia in an effort to contribute to a reduction in alcohol-related harms.”
FARE’s submission to the review of the Victorian Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 in February 2017 called the government to protect Victorian kids from alcohol harm, beginning with removing the outdated provision that allows children to legally drink alcohol in pubs and clubs. The submission included key recommendations that would address alcohol’s availability and reduce associated family violence.
In October 2016, FARE and other alcohol and domestic violence experts met for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Summit on reducing violence against women and their children.
FARE discussed the need to include alcohol’s role in family violence when considering strategies to address the issue, arguing that interventions can be introduced swiftly and inexpensively, and would save lives.
The signatories to a Statement of Concern – including FARE, the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, and Telethon Kids Institute – warned that until governments give thoughtful consideration to the factors such as alcohol that contribute to family violence, the prevention discourse will remain incomplete.
Alcohol advertising would be banned from ACT sporting grounds and on all ACT Government property, and the Liquor Advisory Board expanded to include parent representatives, under a bold plan designed to protect Canberran children from alcohol harm.
Ahead of the ACT’s 2016 Legislative Assembly election, FARE called on all political parties and candidates in the ACT election to deliberate alcohol’s impact on children by committing to its 2016 election platform, Protecting Canberra kids from alcohol harm.
The FARE election platform called for action across four areas that would empower individuals, give communities a greater voice in liquor licensing decisions, create a healthy environment and enforce greater industry accountability.
Did you know that Australia and the United Kingdom (UK) have similar drinking cultures and patterns of alcohol harm, particularly in relation to crime and violence?
In May 2017, the report, Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere? Addressing physical availability of alcohol in Australia and the UK, produced by the FARE and the London-based Institute of Alcohol Studies compared and assessed the policies that regulate the physical availability of alcohol in Australia and the United Kingdom.
The report also highlighted the strengths of alcohol policy measures across the two countries, but most importantly, highlighted the wealth of effective and proven policy measures available to governments to stop alcohol harm.
FARE is committed introducing evidence-based measures to reduce alcohol harm. The policies have proven time and again to be most effective in reducing alcohol’s heavy toll and keeping Australians safe.
That commitment extends to ensuring that such measures, when implemented, are fully evaluated.
The Queensland Alcohol-related violence and Night Time Economy Monitoring project, funded by the Queensland and Commonwealth Government, FARE and other project partners, is a case in point and one that capitalises on a unique opportunity to evaluate the effect of the state-wide alcohol policies.
The project examined the effectiveness of all of the policy measures introduced in July 2016 as part of Queensland’s legislation – including late-night trading hours, targeted policing initiatives, education campaigns, liquor licensing and compliance, precinct management, and police and court powers – identifying areas for improvement.
To help keep the Government from backing away from its commitment, Galaxy Research conducted a poll in February 2017, commissioned by FARE, that showed that Queenslanders overwhelmingly recognised Australia’s problem with alcohol and demand that more needs be done to.