Figure 13.1 highlights the significant growth (threefold) in the number of licensed premises in Victoria from being below 4,000 in 1986 to 12,000 in 2004. Figure 13.1 Growth in the number of licensed premises in Victoria from being below 4,000 in 1986 to 12,000 in 2004 Source: Consumer Affairs Victoria, 2005 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 Producers Clubs (Restricted) Clubs (Full) Packaged General On-Premises
Chapter 13: Structural and Regulatory Factors | The Social Context of Alcohol Use in Australia 102 Trading hours of licensed premises The regulation of trading hours may be affected by moral, economic, and social considerations. There is strong evidence that increasing the trading hours of licensed premises in Australia has had a significant effect on levels of alcohol- related harms (Chikritzhs, Stockwell, & Masters, 2002). Extension of trading hours has been found to: » increase the number of assaults occurring in the later trading premises (Briscoe & Donnelly, 2003) » reduce the amount that premises with normal trading hours were cited as the last place of drinking for drink drivers » impact the time with which drink driving and road crashes occurred (e.g. early hours of the morning) (Chikritzhs et al., 2002) » have a significant impact on levels of high blood alcohol concentrations (Chikritzhs & Stockwell, 2006) » affect the numbers of impaired drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes who last drank at the hotels with late trading (Chikritzhs & Stockwell, 2006) The relationship between extended trading hours and drink driving is particularly pertinent to young people, as over 50 per cent of serious alcohol-related road crash injuries occur among young people aged 15-24 years, more than 70 per cent of whom are male (Roche et al., 2007). Regulatory Frameworks The alcohol regulatory framework can impact on the culture of alcohol consumption through two principal mechanisms: price and taxation, and liquor licensing. Pricing structures include a range of taxation regimes; and liquor licensing legislation controls access and availability over the sale of alcohol. The Commonwealth is responsible for taxation and the States and Territories are responsible for liquor licensing legislation. This parallel governance structure has enabled degrees of inconsistency in the objectives of Commonwealth and State and Territory governments to prevail. It is also acknowledged that inherent tensions over price, access and control of alcohol, between State and Commonwealth governments 44 , can be difficult to reconcile (Roche et al., 2007). 44 E.g. health departments may have a different perspective and priorities from treasury departments about alcohol issues.
The Social Context of Alcohol Use in Australia | Chapter 13: Structural and Regulatory Factors 103 Price Alcohol is a price sensitive product. It has been demonstrated that when the price of alcohol increases, drinkers will either: » decrease their consumption 45 (Loxley, Toumbouro et al., 2004), and/or; » substitute brands.
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