Alcohol Supply Election Commitment Delivered

Alcohol Supply Election Commitment Delivered

Victoria Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge

Victoria Minster for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien

Coalition Reduces The Risk Of Alcohol-Related Harm To Our Children

Victor P Taffa

The Baillieu Government has introduced legislation banning adults from supplying alcohol to a minor in a private home unless parental consent is given, restoring decision-making power to parents over access to alcohol by their children, Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge said.

Legislation introduced by Minster for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien into Parliament this week will amend the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998, changing the way people under 18 years of age obtain access to alcohol in private residences.

Mr. O’Brien said the change would hand back control to parents and open the discussion of alcohol consumption between parents and their children.

 

“We are sending a very clear signal the supply of alcohol to minors without permission from a parent or guardian is illegal.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Under the new legislation Police will have the power to investigate and follow up where there is evidence a child or children have been placed at risk as a result of the supply of alcohol without consent.”

Ms. Wooldridge said the legislation would be supported by a comprehensive information and education campaign, providing young people and the broader community with a greater understanding of both the new law and issues associated with underage drinking.

The Victorian Drug and Alcohol Prevention Councils’ 2009 Youth Alcohol and Drug Survey found of the 15 and 16 year-olds surveyed, 31 % had consumed 20 or more standard drinks on any one day in the previous 12 months.

61% of the young people surveyed had obtained alcohol from a friend or acquaintance, and 45 % obtained alcohol from their parents.

Under the current law it is an offence for any person to supply liquor to a person under the age of 18. The current act provides an exception to this offence where the supply is in a residence. This means any adult may legally supply liquor to a minor in a private home, including at events such as private parties.

The Bill addresses this issue by prohibiting the supply of liquor to a minor in a private residence unless a parent, guardian or spouse over the age of 18 provides it, or the supplier has obtained the consent of the child’s parent, guardian or spouse over the age of 18.

“The changes will make it an offence to supply liquor to a minor in a residence without parental consent and will strengthen the role of parents in making decisions regarding their children and alcohol.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

Under the new law, those who supply alcohol to minors in a private residence will face the same penalty as licensees who supply alcohol to minors in licensed venues.

The maximum on the spot fine for the offence is $716.70, with courts being able to impose a maximum fine of $7,167.

The laws are intended to provide scope for prosecution where liquor has been irresponsibly provided to a minor in a way that may lead to harm.

“For 10 years the former Labor Government refused to support the changes to the legislation, despite calls from parents, the health sector and other concerned Victorians.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

“The Baillieu Government is taking a tough stance and our priority is protecting the health and lives of our children and restoring decision making to parents regarding their children’s consumption of alcohol.” Ms. Wooldridge said.

 

VIC Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O'Brien

VIC Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O’Brien