Communities That Care program helping reduce the sale of alcohol to minors in the Northern suburbs of Geelong

Recent results from the Communities That Care Geelong (CTC) ‘Smart Generation’ program in partnership with Deakin University, have shown that since 2016 the sale of alcohol to minors has reduced by 13% in the Northern suburbs of Geelong.

Louise McDonald, Barwon Child, Youth & Family’s CTC Community Coordinator said these statistics are behind the efforts of the community group to reduce alcohol supply to young people and children.

“A core component of the Communities That Care Geelong ‘Smart Generation’ program involves monitoring alcohol sales at alcohol outlets, and our recent research which shows a 13% reduction in selling alcohol to young people without asking for ID, demonstrates that staff of liquor outlets have been listening to the message.”

“We’re very pleased to see a growing number of staff in the alcohol industry are complying with the law and refusing to sell alcohol to underage youth as we know in communities where it is hard for young people to access alcohol that there are fewer alcohol-related injuries and that the rates of school completion are higher,” Ms McDonald added.

According to research conducted by the Australian Government in 2014, approximately 68% of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 reported drinking alcohol in their lifetime. When asked where they obtained their alcohol, over 80% reported getting it from three sources: home, friends or by purchasing it themselves from bottle shops.

Ms McDonald also urged all adults, including parents, not to supply or sell alcohol to children under 18.

“To reinforce the Smart Generation Program, we encourage parents to prevent their children, and their children’s friends, from consuming alcohol. Parents sometimes have the fear that if they don’t allow alcohol use at home, their children may rebel and use alcohol behind their backs,” she said.

However, the research also shows that in families where parents set guidelines where children are not to use alcohol, there are lower rates of underage alcohol use. In contrast, in families where parents allow moderate alcohol use, children are more likely to rebel with heavy and harmful alcohol use.

“We think the Smart Generation Program is a great initiative and we are pleased to be supporting this program in the Geelong region” said the Victoria Police Liquor Licensing Unit in Geelong.

In order to further reduce the selling of alcohol to minors this activity will continue to occur regularly in Geelong.

For further information please contact: Kristi Clapinski 0408 636 714 kristi.clapinski@bcyf.org.au

Figure: Louise McDonald Barwon Child, Youth & Family’s CTC Community Coordinator and Senior Constable Sean Coffey thank Karl Qian from Alkira Bottle Shop and his staff for working with us to reduce the consumption of alcohol in young people.  Karl and his staff have shown commendable awareness that it is illegal to sell alcohol to people who are under 18 years of age, and it is a responsible service practice for outlets to ask for proof-of-age identification if individuals look under the age of 25.

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