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Govt needs to pass Alcohol Reform Bill

Press Release – Auckland Council

Auckland Council has taken further steps to deliver better local alcohol policies and is calling for the government to get on with passing the Alcohol Reform Bill so the community can have a greater say over efforts to address alcohol abuse.
News Release

24 July 2012

Govt needs to pass Alcohol Reform Bill

Auckland Council has taken further steps to deliver better local alcohol policies and is calling for the government to get on with passing the Alcohol Reform Bill so the community can have a greater say over efforts to address alcohol abuse.

Today’s Regional Development and Operations Committee received a report recommending the approach for developing a local alcohol policy in anticipation of the bill being enacted. In the first instance, this includes the establishment of a key stakeholder reference group and a political working party to guide the policy development.

“The formulation of a local policy is one of the most important pieces of work facing the council, affecting all communities. It is vital that broad representation from the community is given every opportunity to have its say,” says Regional Development and Operations Committee chair Councillor Ann Hartley.

Mayor Len Brown has been a vocal advocate for the bill. “The bill needs to be higher on the government’s priority list so communities can have more say over the number, location and opening hours of liquor outlets and the over the policies that regulate alcohol in their communities,” he says.

Len Brown has written to Minister of Justice to request that the bill be brought forward and recently established the Alcohol and Community Safety Taskforce.

“The taskforce we’ve put together has very clear objectives. We’re aiming to curb pre-loading and the related anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol and make sure Auckland is a welcoming and safe environment for residents, workers and visitors.

“Our cross-sector group already agrees upon a number of actions that council is progressing, however in order to drive these changes through we need the government to pass the Alcohol Reform Bill.”

Once parliament passes the legislation, Auckland Council will have the ability to enact the Local Alcohol Policy discussed today, giving communities more say on the number and location of liquor outlets in their areas, and the outlets’ trading hours.

Len Brown has also pointed out how provisions in the way the bill is currently drafted will cause unnecessary delays to the implementation of local alcohol policies.

“We’ve suggested a number of quick legislative fixes that will reduce the regulatory delays from at least 16 months to around seven months. I hope the government picks them up.

“There is no reason to delay. Aucklanders want to see action on alcohol and we’re determined to get on with it,” says the Mayor.

Ends

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