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ALAC freed up to get on with its job

Belinda Vernon

National List MP

Wednesday 16 August 2000

ALAC freed up to get on with its job

The Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) has been freed-up to get on with its job of promoting moderation in alcohol use, National List MP Belinda Vernon said tonight.

Ms Vernon's Alcohol Advisory Council Amendment Bill was passed unanimously by Parliament today.

"ALAC has been operating within a straitjacket. It is tasked with promoting moderation in the use of alcohol, but it can only do half the job," Ms Vernon said.

"The original ALAC legislation was passed in 1976, more than twenty years ago. Society has changed a lot since then and the legislation was long overdue for an update.

"The old legislation referred to the "evils" of "alcoholic liquor," conjuring up images of the 19th century, not the 21st".

Key changes promoted in the Bill include authorising ALAC to sponsor innovative programmes for the treatment, rehabilitation and care of victims of alcohol abuse. Under the current law it is not clear if it is able to do so.

"ALAC had been restricted by an anomaly which prevented it from promoting road safety and industrial safety. Misuse of alcohol can have a catastrophic effect in both these areas. ALAC can now play an important role promoting safety in these areas.

"It is essential that we let ALAC get on with its job of promoting responsibility and moderation in the use of alcohol," Ms Vernon said.


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