By Andrew Starke
A Melbourne nightclub owner has escalated his campaign against Government policy by offering $10,000 to anyone who can provide credible proof that alcohol causes violence.
The Nightclub Owners Forum in conjunction with the Australian Sex Party has launched a multi-pronged campaign to dispel what it called ‘the widely accepted, simplistic and unquestioned belief that alcohol causes violence, which in turn is leading to ill informed policy by Governments and unfounded attacks against the hospitality industry by the tabloid media and other vested interests’.
Forum head Peter Iwaniuk said the ‘No Excuse’ campaign, which was launched earlier this year, was hoping for active support from the liquor industry.
”We offered a $10,000 reward for the first person able to provide credible proof that alcohol causes violence, and promoted this widely through media advertising,” he said.
”As expected no has been able to do so, and the reward still remains on offer.”
An internet campaign has been launched via social media like Facebook while a prominent Melbourne billboard in Punt Road adjacent to Hoddle Street and Richmond Railway Station delivers the forum’s message of personal responsibility.
“The basis of our campaign is that alcohol abuse and violence are two distinct social problems,” said Iwaniuk.
”One does not cause the other. People who binge drink or engage in violence or other dysfunctional behaviour such as problem gambling, do so because of an underlying psychological problem.
”You cannot treat the dysfunctional behaviours without addressing the underlying problems.”
The Nightclub Owners Forum stressed that its campaign does not seek to further deregulate or promote the supply or consumption of alcohol and said it recognised that misuse of alcohol has very serious health implications.
”We are on the public record, as our website demonstrates, for lobbying Governments to do more about addressing the cultural factors which lead to binge drinking, and associated issues such as preloading, and uncontrolled drinking in the streets and private parties,” said Iwaniuk.
”Our campaign is simply targeted at more informed research, better social policy and putting more onus on the individual for their own behaviour.
We are, in fact, finally seeing some evidence of acceptance of our stance in Victoria, where the current State Government, to its credit, has recently introduced much tougher penalties for offensive and violent behaviour in and around licensed premises.”
Details of the $10,000 offer can be seen by clicking here.