Date PostedMay 16, 2013

Responsible Service of Alcohol News: Professor Offers Advice to Curb Aussie Alcohol Consumption

An Aussie Professor has submitted a number of measures he believes will help to curb the disturbing trends associated with alcohol abuse in Oz.

The problem of excessive alcohol consumption has grown in Australian with politicians and policy makers scurrying to find new ways to curb this problem.

Now a researcher at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Professor Robin Room has offered up some of the findings of his work to help policymakers initiate the necessary changes to counteract the harm done to society because of alcohol abuse.

One of the changes he recommends is reducing trading hours of clubs and pubs and raising the minimum age for buying alcohol. He also advises reviewing the number of places allowed to sell alcohol.

Professor Robin Room is speaking at a national Cancer Council conference in Adelaide and said he believed Australia needed to introduce sweeping alcohol law changes to curb alcohol consumption and associated health problems.

According to the Melbourne based Professor Room, state as well as federal governments need to address alcohol related problems across the country before it spirals out of control.

Prof. Room also accused the policy makers of making “politically feasible” changes which did not have much impact on society. In fact he called governments actions ineffective ,  saying they do “symbolic things” that don’t really effect change but “look” like they are doing something.

Some of the Professor’s solutions included raising taxes on alcohol and wine in particular especially considering that a cheap wine is actually cheaper than a bottle of water.

He also recommended changing the opening hours of licenced venues and limiting the number of licenced venues across the country.

The measures according to the professor would help to ease many of the alcohol fuelled issues such as street violence and hospital admissions. He said there would also be a long term impact which would result in less alcohol related illnesses, such as some forms of cancer, which the Cancer Council SA has linked with alcohol consumption.

This post from lists some of the Professor’s recommendations:

698407-bottle-shopTHE 10 COMMANDMENTS

Five ideas Australia should take on to curb alcohol consumption

1. Restrict the hours or days of the sale of alcohol.

2. Reduce the number of places selling alcohol.

3. Raise the legal drinking age.

4. Raise taxes on alcohol.

5. Government monopoly of alcohol sales. The Government could run the stores selling alcohol.

Five things Australia is doing well to curb alcohol consumption

1. Consistent random breath testing.

2. Introduced low-blood alcohol limits at 0.05.

3. Good administrative laws. You don’t have to go to a judge to get your licence suspended.

4. It’s illegal to drink on a learner’s permit.

5. Alcohol intervention is good. Doctors and nurses offer good referrals.


Whether the policy makers will take Prof. Room’s advice or not remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain, those in a position to curb excessive alcohol consumption have a civic responsibility to do so, that includes RSA staff. Perhaps if workers in licenced venues were more thorough with their RSA duties, we would see less alcohol fuelled violence, hospital admissions, car crashes etc. and we would not have need for extreme measures such as those proposed by the professor.


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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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