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ALAC Welcomes Focus On Alcohol-Related Harm

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
ALAC Welcomes Focus On Alcohol-Related Harm

The Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) has welcomed the Liquor Licensing Authority's (LLA) decision to refuse an application for a Porirua off-licence in Cannons Creek because the authority believes it would result in an increase in alcohol-related harm.

ALAC acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Hearn said the decision took into account the effect the bottle store would have on alcohol-related harm in the community.

The applicant's representative at the hearing submitted that the grounds for objection to the off-licence were limited to the criteria set in section 35(1) of the Act - primarily the 'suitability of the applicant', the proposed days or hours of business, and what other goods and services would be supplied apart from alcohol.

However, the Medical Officer of Health and other objectors contended that refusal of the application would promote the object of the Act by reducing liquor abuse and related harm. This view was supported by the authority.

In its ruling released this week, the authority said the evidence given by the Medical Officer of Health and the objectors was 'excellently presented and quite overwhelming. Its combined force persuaded us that if this particular application were to be granted, an increase in liquor abuse and alcohol-related harm in this community would be likely. We believe that the grant of the application would undermine the efforts being made to change the local culture for the better'.

Dr Hearn said communities such as Porirua which mobilised public support to oppose the application wanted to have their voices heard on the number and location of liquor outlets in their neighbourhood. "This is the strong message we have been getting from communities throughout the country," he said. "There is a lot of frustration out there and things need to change."

A review of the Sale of Liquor Act is currently being undertaken by the Law Commission.

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