Article Title

An evaluation of the effects of alcohol restrictions in Fitzroy Crossing relating to measurable health and social outcomes, community perceptions and alcohol related behaviours after a 12 month period

Abstract

On 27 September 2007, the Director of Liquor Licensing released his decision on restricting the sale of packaged liquor in Fitzroy Crossing. It was his finding that as of 2 October 2007; the following restriction would be in place for six months:

The sale of packaged liquor, exceeding a concentration of ethanol in liquor of 2.7 per cent at 20 degrees Celsius, is prohibited to any person, other than a lodger (as defined in Section 3 of the Act).

On 19 May 2008, the Director of Liquor Licensing extended the restriction indefinitely with an annual review to test its ongoing effectiveness.

Unless otherwise stated, the following findings relate to the twelve month period following the imposition of the restriction, October 2007 to September 2008.

Main Findings:

Twelve months after the implementation of the restriction the quantitative and qualitative data reveals continuing health and social benefits of the restriction for the residents of Fitzroy Crossing and the Fitzroy Valley communities.

Almost all respondents interviewed for this report now accept the need for some form of liquor restriction and no individuals wish to see a return to the previous difficulties faced by Fitzroy Crossing and its surrounding communities.

Most respondents support the current restriction remaining in place, with fewer people supporting a continuation of alcohol restriction in some form which would be negotiated with the community.

There is a general mood in the community that government agencies should hold a forum and consult more widely with community members following the two year mark of the implementation of the alcohol restriction in October, 2009.

A minority of people perceive their rights as modest and responsible drinkers are being denied for the sake of a few. Most respondents within this group suggest targeted changes to the restriction in the form of trials to see if activities such as travelling to other towns can be addressed out of a genuine concern for potential road accidents. Many old people fear the consequences, should their young people die in someone else’s country.

Stephen Kinnane, Fiona Farringdon, Lynette Henderson-Yates and Helen Parker, 'An evaluation of the effects of alcohol restrictions in Fitzroy Crossing relating to measurable health and social outcomes, community perceptions and alcohol related behaviours after a 12 month period, Fitzroy Valley Alcohol Restriction Report, Drug and Alcohol Office, Western Australia, 2009.

ISBN: 978-1-876684-33-4