By James Atkinson

The liquor industry must unite to bring anti-alcohol advocacy organisations like FARE to account for their wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money, says Australian Liquor Stores Association president Giuseppe Minissale.

Minissale said FARE – the Foundation of Alcohol Research and Education – had alone spent more than $75 million on anti-alcohol advocacy since it was formed 2002.

“The really sad thing is they haven’t brought anything new to the table in terms of understanding the downsides of alcohol misuse and abuse, nor any new solutions or policy recommendations to help resolve inappropriate drinking behaviour,” he said.

“They have regurgitated the same old mantra they have been preaching for 30 years – reduce overall population wide alcohol consumption in the mistaken belief that this will reduce or eliminate harms.”

Minissale – who was speaking at the Liquor Stores Association NSW Awards for Excellence on Friday – said the liquor and hospitality industry had failed to adequately respond to this “rising tide”.

“A token $42,000 per annum was historically contributed (by an industry worth over $20 billion in turnover) to a joint industry group most of us have never heard of called NABIC,” Minissale said.

“NABIC has been totally underfunded and under resourced, so never able to do anything meaningful to defend or positively promote our livelihood and the role we as an industry contribute to the social and economic fabric of Australia.”

However, the ALSA President said he is confident that NABIC is getting its house in order, with a landmark meeting in the last few weeks finally resulting in stronger commitments from all industry members.

“We will promote the positive contribution of our industry and consistently call our detractors to account – insisting on scientific, balanced and evidence based alcohol policy recommendations and development by regulators,” Minissale said.

“We need to get behind the efforts of our industry associations LSA NSW and ALSA to contribute to the debate and support the ongoing sustainability of the sector – our sector!”

“We are not the tobacco industry, we are the alcohol industry and we need to be proud of the fact. We want to be a place where people want to come and work, we need to build a sustainable future and just as importantly help those in need. We are a part of the solution. 

“So when you hear about NABIC….or if we have a name change….remember it is an association of companies and industry bodies, standing up for you and you industry and  recognise what it is trying to achieve and support it with intense vigour,” the ALSA president said.

The Shout Team

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1 Comment

  1. I have been working in the field of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder since 2000. FARE have indeed identified solutions in their Australian Government Action Plan to reduce the Impact of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) 2013-14 to 2016-17 which can be found on their website. They also facilitated the first Australasian FASD Conference in Brisbane last year and many other activities, events and policy suggestions relating to this ubiquitous condition. Perhaps ALSA could support organisations like FARE or the Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association to help raise awareness of alcohol and pregnancy and FASD. A national education campaign would provide the consistent message currently lacking in Australia that any amount of alcohol can cause changes in the fetus.

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