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Hills youth reminded: drinking comes with responsibility

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May 8, 2018 by admin

A CULTURE that focuses on the responsible consumption of alcohol rather than just the responsible service of alcohol should be encouraged, local MPs and publicans believe.
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MPs David Elliott and Dominic Perrottet say society’s attitude to safe drinking needs to shift.

“There’s this perception out there that it is the responsible service of alcohol, where indeed it really should be focusing on the responsible consumption of alcohol,” said Baulkham Hills MP, Mr Elliott.

He said while publicans had a responsibility to promote safe drinking initiatives, that wasn’t where the onus of responsibility ended.

“I’ve never known anybody to be dragged into a pub and had alcohol forced down their throat, so at the end of the day the responsibility for drinking has to be with the individual.”

In May a parliamentary inquiry was initiated into laws related to the supply of alcohol to minors in the home.

Castle Hill MP Dominic Perrottet said parents responsibly introducing alcohol to a mature child were not the target.

“I have no issue with parents providing alcohol to their own children in the safety of their own home. The issues I believe arise are when parents provide alcohol to children who aren’t theirs, or who may be friends of their children,” he said.

“I believe that’s where the government needs to take a role to ensure this behaviour is stamped out.”

Both MPs support introducing legislation that imposes penalties on parents who supply their under-age child alcohol, and then “turn a blind eye” by leaving them unsupervised.

“If you don’t feed your 12-year-old kid or you don’t send your 15-year-old kid to school you get charged, but there’s no discipline against a parent who lets their under-age kid drink a bottle of gin,” Mr Elliott said.

They also support imposing a restriction that delays youth involved in alcohol-driven violence or public intoxication from getting their driver’s licence.

Mr Elliott said police had commented on the steady decline of alcohol-related crime in the area, and praised local licensed venues for initiatives that encourage a safe drinking culture.

Hills hotel owner Marcello Colosimo employs initiatives to reduce alcohol-related problems like no shots after midnight, responsible service of alcohol marshals, courtesy buses and experienced door hosts who can identify fake ID cards. Many of the initiatives are voluntary.

“Being a local family for over 35 years, we want to make sure our venues are as safe as possible and form an integral part of the fabric of The Hills,” Mr Colosimo said.

He said while there had been a decrease in alcohol-related violence in The Hills, initiatives like compulsory drug tests for anyone arrested over an assault, barring a person who commits a serious assault from all Hills licensed premises, and compulsory responsible serving of alcohol courses for year 12 students would help to further reduce alcohol-related incidents.

Hills MPs encourage young people to drink responsibly.

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