NSW Has Thirst for Alcohol Reforms
30 August 2012 at 11:16 am
Photo: The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education
A new poll finds that the New South Wales community is united in its desire for action to tackle alcohol-related problems.
Released ahead of a community forum to discuss alcohol-fuelled violence in Kings Cross, the polling shows that 77 per cent of adults in NSW believe more needs to be done to reduce alcohol harms.
Commissioned by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and conducted by Galaxy Research, the report, called NSW Community Attitudes and Behaviours, contains previously unreleased data specific to NSW residents taken from the FARE 2012 Annual Alcohol Poll.
The poll found that 80 per cent of NSW adults believe NSW, along with the rest of the country, has a problem with excess drinking and alcohol abuse. The polling also shows that there is also a perception that neither government, the alcohol industry or pubs and clubs are doing enough to address the problem.
FARE’s Chief Executive Michael Thorn says that on the issue of alcohol reform, the NSW Government risks falling out of step with community expectations.
“This polling makes clear that that an overwhelming majority of NSW adults understand the magnitude of the problem and stand united in calling for strong action to reduce the harms of alcohol-related harms. Such strong support presents the NSW Premier, who already enjoys a clear mandate to govern, with an historic opportunity to show leadership and introduce effective reforms,” Thorn said.
The polling also showed that 1.7 million adults in NSW (34 per cent) had been affected by alcohol-related violence, including 14 per cent who had been victims and 23 per cent who have had a family member or friend affected.
“Not surprisingly, the polling also showed that violence was one of the three alcohol-related problems that people in NSW (75 per cent) are most concerned about together with road traffic accidents and child abuse and neglect,” Thorn said.
The NSW Community Attitudes and Behaviours snapshot also paints a picture of drinking behaviours and attitudes across the State. Almost 1.5 million NSW drinkers (37 per cent) drink alcohol to get drunk, with 13 per cent doing so at least once a week.
The majority (80 per cent) of NSW adults believe that Australia has a problem with excess drinking or alcohol abuse, and 76 per cent believe that alcohol-related problems will remain the same or worsen over the next five to ten years.
The majority of NSW adults (77 per cent) believe that more needs to be done to reduce the harms caused by alcohol related illness, injury, death and related issues. Most perceive that alcohol companies (72 per cent), pubs and clubs (63 per cent) and governments (56 per cent) are not doing enough to address these problems.
Almost 1.5 million NSW drinkers (37 per cent) consume alcohol with the intention of getting drunk. 692,000 NSW drinkers (17 per cent) have consumed alcoholic energy drinks.
Almost 1.7 million or 34 per cent of NSW adults have been affected by alcohol-related violence.
NSW drinkers are more likely than Australian drinkers as a whole to consume alcohol in licensed venues (31 per cent compared to 24 per cent).
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) is a charitable organisation working to prevent the harmful use of alcohol in Australia. Since 2001, FARE says it has invested over $115 million in research and community projects to minimise the impact of alcohol misuse on Australians.