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The benefits of a higher drinking age


25 February 2005

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Robson to outline benefits of higher drinking age at forum

Progressive MP Matt Robson says he is looking forward to outlining the international evidence in favour of raising the alcohol purchasing age when he co-hosts the inaugural Alcohol Policy Roundtable forum in Parliament on Monday.

"On Monday, Parliament will be the venue for an intelligent, thoughtful policy debate between professionals, public health experts, and representatives of a number of political parties.

"This is a really important opportunity for lawmakers to look honestly at all of the evidence. We are really very lucky to be able to talk directly with some world-class public health experts as we grapple with how to take further steps to reduce youth binge drinking in particular."

In 2003, Parliament took effective steps to encourage price-sensitive young people to drink less high alcohol-content (14%-23%) spirit-based drinks in favour of less-potent, lower alcohol-content drinks instead.

The Progressive Party believes that further strong measures are needed and is campaigning in this year's election to have the next coalition agreement require Parliament as a whole to re-examine the drinking age, which was lowered to 18, from 20, in 1999.

Matt Robson has also drafted a Bill that is in the Member's Ballot, that proposes to raise the minimum alcohol purchasing age to 20. The Bill also proposes to strengthen provisions relating to the supply of liquor to minors and to strengthen liquor advertising law to better empower people with information on the health implications of alcohol consumption.

Alcohol Policy Roundtable Monday, February 28 2005 Legislative Council Chamber at Parliament

ENDS

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