Governments must be socially responsible

THERE have been over recent weeks a number of articles relating to binge drinking, extended trading hours and the perceived consequences of these issues.   

These are only two issues that are affecting our communities in relation to the provision and consumption of alcohol.  When you add alcohol-related car accidents, hospital admissions, police arrests, court attendance, possible jail time and alcohol treatment services the cost associated with the consumption of alcohol becomes a very significant cost for the community.  

The above cost excludes the emotional damage caused by loss of life, domestic violence and long-term injury, which is not always related to those who consume the alcohol.

The answer to the problems above are not always easy to find and it is not up to individuals to fight the battle in this area.  

It has been shown in recent studies that the most effective way to deal with these is an “all of community” approach to the problem.  This means governments at all levels needs to be involved in the regulating of alcohol and how it is sold and consumed in the community. 

Local authorities continually say they can’t or are not prepared to take action as they are likely to end up fighting it in court. This is a cop out as they are just as responsible as us, as individuals are with our kids to ensure we do all we can to prevent harmful alcohol consumption.

We can continue to pump money into the services that support the management of alcohol-related incidents but this ultimately takes funds away from other socially-important areas.  It is about time some hard decisions are made and supported by government and this will only occur if the community makes this an issue with those in government.  There are many options available to help manage excessive consumption of alcohol and ultimately restricting supply seems to be the most effective and this needs to be regulated by government.  

 If we are serious about this issue then it is our responsibility to ensure government acts in a socially responsible way.

Ed Zarnow,

CEO The Lyndon Community,

Orange

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