Processes of data collection and analysis being used to decide policy need to be as independent and transparent as possible, particularly on issues as contentious as Sydney’s lockout laws.
The collection and analysis of data used for making policy should be independent and open to ensure public trust in decision-making. The debate over alcohol licensing shows why this matters.
Lobbyists try to water down policies that could restrict the public’s access to their harmful products.
The steady flow of politicians and government staffers switching sides to lobby for powerful food, alcohol and gambling companies is a threat to public health.
Front line professionals need more support and time.
Fortitude Valley is unique in Australia for its concentration of live music venues, like The Valley Drive In, in one small neighbourhood.
The Valley Drive In/Facebook
The good news is that the growth of live music continued under Queensland's liquor licensing reforms. The bad news is that venues rely on late-night alcohol sales to cover costs.
For young women in Queensland, the risk of unwanted sexual attention is high when they go out at night.
Rates of unwelcome advances haven't changed under Queensland's 'Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence' policies. In one entertainment district, it happened to 26% of women the night they were interviewed.
Queenslanders are drinking heavily when they go out and breathalyser tests show most don’t realise how drunk they are.
Even after 'Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence' policies took effect in 2016, Queenslanders still drink more heavily on nights out. Reported levels of aggression are higher than in other states too.
Public alarm at alcohol-related violence led the Queensland government to change liquor licensing laws in 2016. The results of a two-year evaluation are now in.
A comprehensive two-year evaluation of statewide measures introduced in 2016 has shown it's possible to reduce alcohol-related violence while also producing economic benefits.
The NT government introduced trial restrictions on the availability of alcohol in Alice Springs in 2002.
The NT has become the first jurisdiction in Australia to introduce a minimum price for alcohol.
A floor price is a minimum amount under which alcohol can’t be sold.
International evidence shows minimum pricing policies can reduce alcohol-related harm. But a downside of the mechanism is that the extra money will go to industry rather than government.
There is little evidence that training alone reduces the propensity for over-service of alcohol.
Responsible Service of Alcohol laws should be coupled with public discussion that encourages people to take responsible for their own drinking behaviour.
In one regard, lockout laws have succeeded in decreasing crime. But take a step back to see a city-wide perspective, and there are many other issues to consider.
Policy changes such as the 'lockout laws' have had profound impacts on inner Sydney nightlife. Transport data help us see whether these have caused problems to spill over into neighbouring areas.
Sydney’s Kings Cross precinct has 3AM ‘last-drinks’ laws and 1:30AM lockouts for premises that serve alcohol.
As Queensland considers new laws to curb alcohol-fuelled violence in response to a one-punch death, several policy experiments that have occurred in recent years can provide valuable lessons.
Teenage drinking in Australia has declined dramatically over the past fifteen years.
Ask your friends and colleagues about young Australians and alcohol and I bet they’ll say something about a generation out of control or a binge-drinking epidemic.
It’s simply easier to say others are flawed than admit
you might be the one who is flawed.
A majority of Australians agree we have a problem with alcohol. But almost all say that it’s not a problem of theirs – it’s a problem that exists somewhere outside of their world.
Early closing times reduce alcohol-fuelled violence but still face opposition from businesses.
The Queensland government has said it will push ahead with its plan to introduce lockouts and 3am closing times for pubs and clubs. This is a good idea for patrons and businesses alike.
Gauging the pressure to make changes to the law.
The most ardent supporters of alcohol must admit it causes an immense amount of harm.
What does the evidence say about alcohol and violence?
There is a lot of evidence showing that changing people's drinking hours and consumption patterns reduces violence and hospital admissions.
If governments choose to prioritise commercial interests, they place health scientists in the invidious position of helping inflict damage on public health.
AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
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Sticking to water before the front.
Hampshire and Solent Museums
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