A pollie for constituents or the Hotels Association?

ALCOHOL WATCH #7 by Russell Guy

 

THE INTOXIGENIC STREETS OF OUR TOWNS

 

“It is time for the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, to demonstrate that he is running this state for the benefit of his constituents. Because at the moment it appears the Australian Hotels Association is running the minister’s policies for the benefit of a handful of licensees who hold late night trading licences.

 

“If your government is willing to take $11 million a month out of drivers’ pockets through speed cameras to reduce crashes by 42% in black spots, why won’t you tell your Minister to trial the Newcastle Model to reduce assaults by 37% in violent black spots?” – Pat Gooley, Vice President, NSW Police Association after witnessing the NYE alcohol-fuelled violence (6/1/14).

 

THE CONSEQUENCES OF ALCOHOL ABUSE

 

Tim Hawkes, an Australian boys’ school headmaster, under the heading ‘What Every Dad Must Do If We’re To Defeat Violence’ (Australian.  6/1/14) said: “A son must learn to control his grog rather than allow it to control him.  This is best modeled than sermonized.  Moderation.  Setting limits.

 

“Alternating a soft drink with an alcoholic drink.  Drinking low-strength beer.  Recognising the signs of personal intoxication.  Having a plan to avoid it getting worse.

 

“Avoiding “pre-loading”.  Knowing of the danger of mixing drugs with alcohol.  You know the drill.  Use personal example.  Show a son that getting maggoted is not a sign of manliness.  It is a sign of stupidity.”

 

NEW SOUTH WALES GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS ALCOHOL RESTRICTIONS

 

In comments echoing those made by NT Senator Nova Peris late last year, Australian Medical Association NSW president and neurosurgeon Brian Owler has called for urgent action from the state government to help stamp out unprovoked attacks on Sydney streets, as another young man fights for life in hospital. [He has since died.]

 

Mr Owler says attacks that come without warning, and the devastating injuries they cause, aren’t new: “I agree with the sentiment that the use of the term king-hit kind of glorifies the action, and it’s a very cowardly act,” he told AAP (3/1/14).

 

“These people don’t see it coming … they never have any chance, even for a fraction of a second, to deflect or adjust to the force of the punch.”

 

Professor Kypri, from the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle, said: “Earlier closing works, and Newcastle is just one example.

 

“A 20 per cent increase in assaults [occurred] when you went up by an hour and a 20 per cent decrease when you went down by an hour.”

 

The Australian Hotels Association sought to put the blame on “thugs who roamed the streets fuelled on drugs, alcohol or testosterone with no consequences”.

 

AHA NSW director of policing John Green said calls to “shut down Australian’s only global city” would have more people out on the streets in the early hours.

 

EMERGENCY STAFF AT RISK

 

Dr Diana Egerton-Waburton, chair of the Public Health Committee of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, said that the casualties of New Year’s Eve festivities cast a light on a serious day-to-day problem for emergency rooms (ABC  2/1/14).

 

“What we see in the media is the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “It’s a 24-7, every day of the week problem.  We did a snapshot survey of the point in time, and showed that across Australia, on average, one in seven patients are there, related to alcohol.

 

“There were numerous departments in every state and territory where it was one in three. It’s more like working in a pub.”

 

PHOTO: Police resources in Alice Springs tied up keeping an eye on bottle shops and their customers.

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2 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Russell Guy
    Posted January 14, 2014 at 10:56 am

    @ Matt. Presumably, your comment is a lament, but if it’s a question (?), then in response to the steadily growing national conversation about alcohol-abuse, there are a few things to consider and it’s my guess that you’ve been following the argument.
    There are a suite of measures available to government to reduce the cost to taxpayer, self-harm, alcohol-related violence and self-regulated, but irregular, 24/7 promotion of alcohol products.
    In addition, there are NT-specific issues to do with welfare, seven days a week take-away, ER and hospitalised pathology, which are not going to go away under the status quo, including AMT and APOs.
    Bar-hopping till or after 2am fits with issues around late night serving, lock-outs and earlier closing times as demonstrated in what’s referred to as the Newcastle Model (see Alcohol Watch #7 above).
    What, if any, measures are employed by the NSW government when their review is handed down this month, depends on its recommendations and issues canvassed by the president of the NSW Police Association (see above).
    The NTG has its own opinion, of course, but perhaps Senator Scullion’s inquiry may make recommendations, or even a face-saving offer they can’t refuse.
    And then again, perhaps, the tragic appearance of white-on-white violence may jolt some citizens into recognising that this is spreading out of the Aboriginal camp, where for so long it has been tolerated as a culture-specific phenomenon, when the statistics for excess consumption and supply have been available for several years.
    What do you think, Matt?

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  2. Matt
    Posted January 13, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    So no bar hopping after about 2am in Alice then Russell.

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