Initiatives to minimise the harmful effects of alcohol consumption in Australian society.

Page last updated: 02 June 2015

National Alcohol Strategy 2016-2021

The development of a National Alcohol Strategy for 2016-2021 is being undertaken by the IGCD during 2015. This work will be underpinned by a comprehensive national stakeholder and jurisdictional consultation process. Advice on consultation arrangements and opportunities, will be made available on the IGCD website as work progresses.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The Australian Government is committed to reducing harms caused by alcohol, including those as a result of drinking during pregnancy. The Department of Health has made significant investment over several years in improving our understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

The FASD Action Plan will help to inform future direction to address the harmful impact of FASD on children and families and taking into account the many complex social and medical issues involved.

Commonwealth FASD Action Plan (Word 74 KB)
Commonwealth FASD Action Plan (PDF 461 KB)

One of the first priorities under a FASD Action Plan will be to finalise and disseminate a National FASD Diagnostic Tool. The current NHMRC Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol clearly state that no alcohol is the safest option during pregnancy and the Government will continue its work to promote this important message.

National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Guidelines To Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol

The Australian Government is committed to promoting responsible consumption of alcohol through a range of measures. This approach includes increased education using the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Guidelines to Reduce the Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol so that Australians can make informed decisions. It also includes considering broader strategies to reduce both short term and lifetime risks of alcohol related harm. The Government is especially interested in initiatives that have been proven to result in better health outcomes.

Danny Green’s Coward Punch Campaign

The Australian Government is committed to increasing awareness about the dangers of harmful drinking, including violence and health risks and has provided $200,000 to support the successful Coward Punch campaign to reduce alcohol-related violence.

The funding is going towards the production of two new television advertisements and other promotional material featuring former boxing champion and popular media personality, Danny Green. This phase of the Coward Punch campaign builds on the One Punch Can Kill television advertisement in which Danny helped raise awareness of the serious consequences that a single act of violence can have for both the victim and the assailant.

Perpetrator TV advertisement
Victim TV advertisement

While there are promising trends in decreased alcohol consumption in Australia, the Government will continue to work with state and territory health agencies, law enforcement, the alcohol industry and people like Danny Green to reduce alcohol-related violence.

Good Sports Programme

The Government has committed $19m over four years to the Australian Drug Foundation to continue the Good Sports Programme which aims to change behaviour and attitudes around alcohol consumption through partnerships with more than 6,500 sporting clubs. Further information is available on the Good Sports website.

Hello Sunday Morning

The Government has provided over $1 million for Hello Sunday Morning to expand their online support service. The Hello Sunday Morning team will further develop a suite of evidence-based online programmes that support people to make a long-term 40 per cent reduction in their overall alcohol consumption. Further information can be found on the Hello Sunday Morning website.

Alcohol advertising

The Government is committed to working closely with the alcohol industry, public health organisations, peak bodies and other stakeholders to encourage responsible advertising and sponsorship. Alcohol advertising regulation in Australia occurs through a combination of legislation and industry self-regulation. As part of this, the ABAC (formerly known as the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code) Scheme provides a vehicle for strengthening action to prevent inappropriate advertising. Further information on the scheme is available on the ABAC website.

Alcohol related violence

The InterGovernmental Committee on Drugs (IGCD) held a National Stakeholder Meeting on Alcohol Related Violence and Harms in Canberra in November 2014. The meeting provided an opportunity for stakeholders to work collaboratively with experts and governments across Australia in identifying opportunities to reduce the impact of alcohol related violence and harm. The IGCD has committed to using the outcomes of the meeting to inform its advice to Ministers on the specific issue of alcohol related violence and harms, and to also inform the development of the next iteration of a National Alcohol Strategy for 2016-2021. A meeting summary is available on the IGCD’s website.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services

The Australian Government is committed to building safe and healthy communities through minimising the harms associated with alcohol and drug misuse to individuals, families and communities under the National Drug Strategy 2010-2015.

This includes an allocation of more than $200 million to alcohol and drug treatment services, peak organisations, research and a number of prevention activities.

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