Auditing of packaged outlets for Smart Generation program | Alpine Health
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2nd round of auditing packaged alcohol outlets reveals poorer results for Alpine Shire.

Communities That Care Alpine has recently completed its second round of auditing packaged outlets as part of The Smart Generation program and the results show an increase in outlets selling alcohol to young people without checking ID. In Victoria it is a requirement that ID is checked for all young people who look 24 years or younger.

The alcohol monitoring component of the Smart Generation program involves young people aged 18-22, but who look underage, going into local bottle shops to attempt to purchase alcohol without a valid ID.

“Our recent research revealed that over 65% of packaged outlets we visited across the Alpine Shire did not comply, which sees an increase from the initial monitoring round held six months earlier”

“This is a concerning result, as bottle shop purchases are one of the three main sources of alcohol for teenagers” said Lisa Neville, Communities That Care Alpine Coordinator. “As part of the program, we have sent letters to all licensees and managers, either congratulating them for not selling alcohol to a young person, or reminding them of the law and of best-practice in the service of alcohol. CTC Alpine has been working to change the culture of adolescent alcohol use in the Alpine Shire and this intervention is one of three that helps us to support a healthy culture around Australia’s love affair with alcohol.

Updating our local by-laws provides residents with an opportunity to live in a community that is safer from harm of alcohol related violence and provides enhanced safety.

Research from VicHealth advises that “Public drinking laws have the strong support of the community, with over three-quarters of household residents supporting laws prohibiting public drinking in the street and just over half supporting laws prohibiting public drinking laws in parks. This is because residents feel safer and the laws also improve perceptions of the amenity of an area. “

Inspector Kerrie Hicks, Wangaratta Police Service Area Licensing Inspector added “We enjoy strong collaborative partnerships in Alpine focussing on early intervention and primary prevention and recognise the considerable research identifying the harms associated with young people accessing alcohol. My goal is to prevent the anti-social behaviour and associated crime that we have seen in other areas of the state to ensure the Alpine community is safe, and most importantly that they feel safe.”

Whilst we can intervene at packaged outlets through auditing, the greatest concern is still the fact that the CTCA youth survey results revealed over 50% of young people from Yr5 – Yr9 receive their alcohol from their parents.

Recent changes to the alcohol Control Reform Amendment Act 2011 makes it an offence to supply alcohol to a minor in a private home without parental consent and any person who supplies alcohol to a minor without a parent’s consent could be subject to the same penalty faced by licensees who supply alcohol to minors in a licensed venue. A maximum fine of more than $8,500.00. A person over the age of 18 who is authorised to supply alcohol to a minor by a minor’s parent, guardian or spouse can only supply alcohol to a minor if they can demonstrate responsible supervision of the supply of alcohol.

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