The Leader of the Democratic Party Rev Fred Nile has introduced the Alcoholic Beverage Advertising Prohibition Bill 2015 in the NSW Upper House for the second time, urging the government to take action against alcohol advertising.
“In the recent Budget, the NSW Government announced an allocation of $2.3 million over four years to create a Centre for the Prevention of Harm to Children and Adolescents from Drugs and Alcohol at Westmead Children’s Hospital. Yet we continue to let the alcohol industry a free run at fuelling the problem,” stated Rev Nile.
The annual cost of alcohol-related abuse to NSW Government services was estimated to be in excess of $1.029billion according to the NSW Auditor-General’s Report 2013.
“It is counter intuitive that we invest in actions to promote well-being and healthy lifestyles that reduce the burden of disease; yet continue to allow the perpetrating alcohol industry to flourish.
“There are a number of media platforms now currently available which will contribute further to the detriments of alcohol related abuse and aim to promote and advertise alcohol. The rigorous online strategies include online games and advert gaming. Alcohol brands were also among the highest engaging industries on Facebook.
“There is a correlation between alcohol advertising and it’s influence on the vulnerable and the impressionable youth in our society. A NSW Legislative Council Committee inquiry into youth alcohol abuse reported that, between 1993 and 2001, there were over 500,000 hospitalisations caused by risky and high-risk drinking in Australia with 20,374 alcohol related hospitalisations involving attempted suicide. These lives can be saved and these recommended measures will reduce the number of unfortunate preventable incidents which result in such tragedies which destroy and affect many lives.
For years the Australian Medical Association has called for a ban on alcohol advertising and sponsorship. I appear to be the only out spoken politician who has consistently persisted on introducing such a bill which will save lives, in fact 1000’s of young lives and I will continue to do so until our society values people’s lives above profit. I urge the government to pass this bill, which inevitably will create an overall positive shift in our society by banning alcohol sport sponsorship, alcohol advertising and promotion,” stated Rev Fred Nile.