Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Labels, not taxes the solution to drunks: lobby group

The Federal Government's proposal to introduce graphic cigarette-style warning labels on alcohol has been accepted by a lobby group, which says that placing graphic style warning labels on alcohol will be more effective.

The Anti-Mad Man's Broth Society says the Government proposal to introduce the labels, and put national laws on the sale of alcohol, will have a major impact in reducing binge drinking.

The measures are being considered by the country's leaders and will be discussed at Wednesday's Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Adelaide.

The Coalition's Sam Miles says while the changes are welcome, raising alcohol prices would only mean people who drink would have to struggle more and could lead to people not being able to pay the rent.

"If we could get large signboards on roadsides warning of the dangers, or failing that a minimum label on bottles and cans warning of the dangers, or both, so that we can try and make the alcoholic drinks that some people are choosing more explanatory, that will have more of an impact than any of the other measures that are being proposed for COAG," he said.

"There will be lobby groups for the government and corporations hell bent on protecting the corporate giants who produce alcohol and will argue against labels pretending to be assisting but masked and instead asking for increased taxes however most people are struggling as it is especially with petrol prices and rent and that idea would just make it harder for families", he said.


Alcohol producers urge caution on booze reform

The Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia is urging politicians not to make radical changes to the way alcohol is advertised and sold in Australia.

Alcohol abuse will be among the most important topics at today's Commonwealth of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Adelaide.

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon is proposing graphic images being put on alcohol bottles and cans as a deterrent to binge drinking.

But the Council's Steve Riden says better enforcement of current measures, like checking patrons' IDs, is a large part of the answer.

"Things like responsible service of alcohol, which means the barman doesn't serve you when your staggering drunk," he said.

"If the Federal Government was actually going to take effective action on enforcement of that and parental supply of teenagers, then we think that would be a good move."

Quote: What happens when the staggering drunk leaves the pub? Who pays for the damage? It's not only about binge drinking it is also about drunks whether they be teens or adults drinking is a major problem in Australia today.

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