By James Atkinson
NSW Assistant Commissioner of Police Nick Kaldas was "on the money" when he said the underlying culture of excessive drinking was the single biggest issue facing regulators in tackling alcohol-related violence, according to ALSA.
Kaldas told ABC's 7.30 Report that while licensing law reform must also be considered, "the single biggest problem we need to fix is to change the underlying culture, the fundamental problem with people drinking to such a degree that they lose all control".
"The biggest problem is that there is a culture of people not accepting responsibility for their actions and not accepting responsibility for those they are with," he said.
"If you look at some of the countries overseas in Europe in particular, where people drink on nightly basis, have a couple of glasses of wine, but they drink in moderation; they enjoy it, and don't feel the need to get absolutely rolling drunk where they lose all control."
Kaldas said regulators have successfully changed community attitudes to drink driving and wearing seatbelts and the same needs to occur where excessive drinking is concerned.
ALSA CEO Terry Mott said the Assistant Police Commissioner’s comments reinforce the need for police, industry, government and the community to work together to help overcome that culture where a handful of people do drink excessively, plus ensuring people do accept responsibility for their own actions and look out for the behaviour of their mates.
"ALSA also commends the early successes of DrinkWise in helping to change that drinking culture, however recognises this is a long term task for industry, police, government and the community as a whole," Mott said.
Cabinet to consider new violence measures
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell yesterday said a package of reforms to further address drug- and alcohol-related violence would be considered by cabinet on Monday.
Measures will include increased regulation of liquor licences, tougher penalties for offenders and policing in and around entertainment precincts, the Premier said.