By James Atkinson

All the evidence suggests that a proposal to use teenagers to conduct sting operations on retailers would be completely ineffective, according to Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) CEO Terry Mott.

The chief executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), Michael Thorn, will today give evidence to a NSW parliamentary inquiry into the provision of alcohol to minors.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Thorn will call for the introduction of ''controlled operations'' to help prosecute owners of bottle shops and other outlets who sell alcohol to minors, as is currently allowable under tobacco sales laws.

ALSA CEO Terry Mott told TheShout that he has every confidence that his members are complying with their legal obligations and would not be caught in any crackdown. "Bring it on," he said.

But Mott said the reality is that such a proposal would have no impact on underage drinking.

He said a 2010 report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found that 99.6 per cent of minors who consume alcohol get it from their parents, siblings or friends who are of legal age.

"ALSA and the retail packaged liquor sector take their responsible service of alcohol responsibilities seriously which is why we developed and continue to promote ID-25 and 'Don’t Buy It For Them'," Mott said.

"Therefore if FARE were serious about this initiative and wanted it to be evidence based, they would be focused on the major problem area and promoting education of the community including parents of their responsibility to not supply alcohol to minors."

"ALSA supports the enforcement of existing laws in this regard – but is curious about the motives of FARE to be questioning Police about their enforcement of the law and their allocation of their scarce resources to an area not supported by the evidence."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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  1. These policies are pretty common place in England and a regular part of police activity to do undercover operations normally around alcohol and tobacco. Not sure why ALSA is so concerned about it…. I would see it as a normal part of police law enforcement.

  2. Of course Mr Mott would make these statemnts. Just like his members do not serve alcohol to intoxicated patrons. Yes, the AIHW found the the vast majority of minors get it from the sources he mentioned. It does not hurt to put liquor outlets on notice. Advertising campaigns are the most ineffective means to reduce alcohol consumption or to deter alcohol consumption in young people as many studies have demonstrated. Relying on this to spread the message is wasting resources. Secondary supply is also illegal but proving it is next to impossible as recently evidenced in the NT Enough is Enough campaign where there was not one conviction for secondary supply. Anyone in the know can tell you the most effective means for reducing alcohol consumption is through increased taxes, reducing opening hours and reducing the number of alcohol outlets. This is what gets ALSA’s attention. They fight these proposals with every means available to them at the same time arguing they are serious about the public’s welfare. They are not serious about evidence based means to reduce alcohol rather, they are more interested in profits.

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