Page MP looks for binge-drinking local strategy

The Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, says the Rudd Government is looking for local solutions to the problem of binge drinking among young Australians.

Ms Saffin says binge drinking imposes a huge toll on our community and requires a community wide response.

“The misuse of alcohol too often leads to violence, injuries, drink driving and health problems and it’s an issue of such concern to me that I raised it in my first speech to Parliament, ” Ms Saffin said.

Ms Saffin said the Rudd Government is serious about addressing this issue and has announced a $53 million national strategy to help reduce alcohol misuse and binge drinking among young Australians.

In Parliament this week Ms Saffin asked Health Minister Nicola Roxon what could be done at the local level.

Minister Roxon says the national strategy includes $14.4 million to be invested in at the community level to confront the culture of binge drinking, particularly in sporting organisations.

Of this, $7 million has been allocated to support local initiatives, and there will be an application process.

Ms Saffin says she will be consulting with local organisations to look for strategies to best tackle binge drinking in Page.

“The latest Australian Secondary Students Alcohol Survey found that in any given week one in five 16- to 17-year-olds drank at risky levels, and the survey found problem drinking among the under 16s as well. It’s clear we need to work with those who can take leadership roles with young people in our community,” Ms Saffin said.

The National Binge Drinking Strategy will dovetail with the Rudd Government’s wider commitment to establish a National Preventative Health Taskforce, which will examine ways to reduce the health problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

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