Victoria will have a new tool to tackle alcohol-related harm when new legislation, introduced to Parliament this week, is passed.
The legislation requires certain types of licensees, such as wholesale liquor producers and importers, to report on the volume, value and type of wholesale liquor being sold across Victoria.
Alcohol Policy Coalition (APC) spokesperson and CEO of the Australian Drug Foundation John Rogerson welcomed the Government’s action.
“This is a big win,” Mr Rogerson said.
“For the first time ever, we’ll have accurate data on how much alcohol Victorians drink, and we’ll be able to better measure the effectiveness of policies for reducing alcohol-related harms.”
Rates of alcohol-related harms are increasing rapidly in Victoria. The most recent figures show that almost 15,000 ambulance call-outs were alcohol-related in the 2012–13 financial year . That’s an increase of 42 per cent in regional Victoria and 27 per cent in metropolitan Melbourne in just one year  and an increase of more than 300 per cent in 10 years . In the same decade, alcohol-related hospital admissions for intoxication have risen by 87 per cent and alcohol-related assaults by 50 per cent .
“This legislation will enable us to collect important data to understand why harms are continuing to increase in Victoria. It will also bring us into line with Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, where wholesale alcohol sales data is already being collected.
In the lead up to the November state election, the APC renewed calls for the collection of wholesale alcohol sales data, echoing calls from a 2012 Auditor General’s Report on the effectiveness of strategies to prevent and reduce alcohol related harm, which highlighted lack of sales data as a key issue in Victoria.
The APC also called on all parties to commit to reducing alcohol-related harms by addressing when, where and how we drink; and to tackle our harmful drinking culture by introducing tighter restrictions on advertising and sponsorship by the alcohol industry.
“We’re pleased to see the Napthine Government has alcohol policy on its radar and we hope to see other parties bring their ideas to the table,” Mr Rogerson said.
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 Lloyd B., Matthews S., Gao X.C. (2014). Trends in alcohol and drug related ambulance attendances in Victoria: 2012/13. Fitzroy, Victoria: Turning Point, pg 12. Available at http://www.turningpoint.org.au/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/documents/TP.ambocallout.fullreport.080514.pdf.
 Ibid, pg 3
 Victoria Auditor-General 2012, Effectiveness of justice strategies in preventing and reducing alcohol-related harm, Victorian Government Printer, Melbourne, pg. 12.
 Victoria Auditor-General 2012, Effectiveness of justice strategies in preventing and reducing alcohol-related harm, Victorian Government Printer, Melbourne, pg. 12, 46.