Push To Ban Alcohol Promotions at NSW Festivals And Events
A NSW Upper House Inquiry has been told that alcohol promotions and sponsorships should be banned at North Coast festivals and events that are often frequented by young people.
The parliamentary inquiry into alcohol abuse in minors, called the Byron Youth Service has recommended that North Coast festivals be free of alcohol promotions and sponsorships.
According to the Byron Youth Service (BYS) promotion and sponsorship was not only contributing to the culture of excessive drinking but is actually making drinking “cool” to young people.
Read what the BYS recommended according to a post on NorthernStar.com.au:
In its submission to the parliamentary inquiry into alcohol abuse in young people, the Byron Youth Service called for a review into the regulation of alcohol service at Splendour in the Grass, Schoolies, Blues Fest and New Year celebrations.
The glamorisation of full-strength booze at festival bars, the BYS says, “heavily promotes and encourages the engagement of young people and young adults in alcohol consumption”.
The submission also notes Byron’s “high profile” alcohol related crime rate appears to have attracted little recognition from the State Government.
It says an area, which has 30% more liquor licences and significantly higher crime statistics than most of NSW, heavy tourism traffic and a shortage of taxis, is in desperate need of funding for safety programs.
The street-based program, run by BYS every weekend and throughout special events and peak periods like Schoolies for the past 13 years, was working, according the submission but lacked “sufficient, ongoing funding”.
Interestingly students at Byron High suggested funding for more education at high risk areas as well as curfews to discourage binge drinking in young people.
The post goes on to state:
Byron High students suggested funding for school-based programs, more RBTs at “high risk” areas like Byron, western Sydney and the Gold Coast and curfews for P platers, could help deter young people from binge-drinking.
The submission, penned by school captains Taylor Kempnich and Brodie Snow and vice captains Danika Saul and James Dennett, said the focus should be on “prevention rather than the cure” if the State Government wanted to “save money, time in the workplace, but most of all, lives”.
But why is the issue of teenage drinking so important?
Well one of the most obvious reasons is because of the harm that teenagers place themselves in when they binge drink, including placing themselves in compromising situations, engaging in brawls and crimes, engaging in unprotected and dangerous sexual encounters, drink driving etc.
Teenagers health is also affected negatively by binge drinking and in particular the development of the reproductive and nervous systems.
It is important that parents teach their teenagers the importance of responsible and moderate drinking and remember that most offspring, learn from example so if parents are binge drinking, children are likely to follow their example.
Also parents should know where their children are and what they are doing at all times even when they are attending festivals and events which may seem harmless.