Alcohol Action NZ Analysis of Revised Bill
MEDIA RELEASE - 25/8/11
ALCOHOL ACTION NZ ANALYSIS OF REVISED BILL
Specific new measures in the Alcohol Reform Bill will be ineffective and highly time wasting for local communities
“The Government might trumpet that the Alcohol Reform Bill has been strengthened, but the two new measures for supermarkets – a separate display place and the collection of sales data – while positive, are not in themselves going to have any significant impact on the heavy drinking culture” said Dr Geoff Robinson, medical spokesperson for Alcohol Action NZ.
“If the sales data collection subsequently initiates an effective minimum price, putting an end to ultra-cheap alcohol sold in New Zealand especially from supermarkets, then there would be reason to congratulate the Government for its leadership, but that is not happening yet”, he said.
“The government is continuing to dither and tinker”.
“The provisions for establishing local alcohol plans could certainly give communities more say about alcohol sales in their neighbourhoods” added Professor Sellman. “But to bring about real change in the number of liquor outlets throughout the country and substantially reduce the hours they can operate is literally years away if we are relying on local alcohol plans.”
“It will require thousands of citizens up and down the country putting in an enormous voluntary hard grind in hearings after hearings for many years against a well-heeled alcohol industry and its high-flying lawyers.”
“The government is decentralising responsibility and in effect abandoning local communities to try and control the alcohol industry on their own , while they look the other way chanting the PR rhetoric of the alcohol industry – “its all about personal responsibility, the law can only go so far in changing the culture, more alcohol education is needed etc”
“But one of the most positive things to come out of this alcohol review process over the past three years is the thousands of people who are now activated and have a vision for a better country without the heavy drinking culture”.