A new report has found the Liberal National Party (LNP) has little appetite for evidence-based measures to reduce alcohol harms; with the Newman Government (LNP) indicating full support for only one in ten alcohol policy measures proposed by a group of leading public health experts.
The Queensland Greens, Labor and Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) all performed better, and the Queensland Coalition for Action on Alcohol (QCAA) says it is encouraged by the alcohol policy scorecard findings, and the growing support for more effective policy measures.
On 7 January 2015, the Queensland Coalition for Action on Alcohol (QCAA) wrote to the leaders and state offices of six political parties contesting the Queensland state election; the Liberal National Party (LNP), the Queensland Labor (Labor), Katter’s Australian Party (KAP), the Queensland Greens (Greens), Palmer United Party (PUP) and One Nation.
The letter posed ten questions for the political parties on alcohol policy:
1. Will your Party support the development of a state-wide alcohol harm reduction plan that includes prevention, early intervention, treatment, monitoring and evaluation and also includes working with and supporting non-government organisations to provide alcohol and other drug services to reduce alcohol harm?
2. Will your Party support a reduction in trading hours for on-licence premises to no later than 3am, the introduction of 1am lockouts and recommencement of the moratorium on all applications for late night trading beyond midnight across Queensland?
3. Will your Party support the prohibition of the harmful discounting and promotion of alcohol products at both on-and off-licence premises and ban alcohol promotions on state property, including public transport?
4. Will your Party support the provision of $2 million over four years to support domestic violence services and alcohol and other drug services to develop shared models of care?
5. Will your Party support the provision of $1 million over four years to develop and implement a state-wide Queensland Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Action Plan?
6. Will your Party support the provision of $2 million over four years to fund a brief intervention program for alcohol in primary care and emergency department settings to support health professionals to talk to consumers about their alcohol consumption?
7. Will your Party support the provision of $4 million over four years to develop and fund an ongoing public education campaign on the negative health impacts from alcohol consumption and ways to avoid these risks?
8. Will your Party support the introduction of a policy that excludes alcohol industry involvement in policy development, in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation, and a ban on donations to Queensland political parties from the alcohol industry and their representatives?
9. Will your Party support the collection and public reporting of alcohol harms and compliance data, including police data on alcohol-related violence, to inform the development of alcohol policy and the evaluation of programs and services?
10. Will your Party support a comprehensive, independent evaluation of the Safe Night Out Strategy incorporating adequate consultation with people who have expertise in public health?
Responses were received from four of six parties; the LNP, Labor, KAP and the Greens.
Responses were received by State Director of the LNP Brad Henderson, Deputy Leader of the Opposition the Hon Tim Mulherin, the Convenor of the Queensland Greens Penny Allman-Payne and National General Secretary of KAP Andrew Jackson.