NSW is the worst place in Australia when it comes to tackling alcohol abuse and liquor-fuelled violence, a panel of experts has ruled.

The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol scorecard released on Sunday gave the state only 31 per cent on a report card measuring a range of factors including clear plans to reduce alcohol-related harm, transparent policies and restrictions on alcohol marketing.

“It’s almost hard to single out one area they are doing badly in, because they are doing badly in everything”: Professor Mike Daube

The report card comes as police have charged nearly 60 people with assault during the second night of a statewide operation targeting alcohol-fuelled violence, and a 23 year old man remains in an induced coma after having his head stomped on during an assault in Bondi.

Public health groups on Sunday joined with Labor and the Greens to urge the state government to urgently adopt the findings of an independent review into the Liquor Act released on Friday. The government has said it will respond to them next year.

Labor health spokesman Andrew McDonald said if the government stood by and did nothing we would see yet another summer where more people died from alcohol than did on the roads.

“This is not going to change until the government changes what they are doing,” he said. “Alcohol is too easily available and too cheap and until that changes lives are going to continue to be ruined, our emergency departments are going to be zoos, and our streets will not be safe”.

National Alliance for Action on Alcohol co-chair Mike Daube said NSW needed to take action licensing laws, community consultation, education and and promotion.

“NSW has a very significant alcohol problems but when you look at the level of action in pretty much every area except drink driving they are performing poorly,” he said. “It’s almost hard to single out one area they are doing badly in, because they are doing badly in everything”.


Published Dec 2013 @ http://www.smh.com.au