5 January 2016
Eighteen-year-old Cole Miller has become the latest victim in
what is believed to be an alcohol-fuelled attack, passing away in a
Queensland hospital yesterday after being punched in Fortitude
Valley in Brisbane early on Sunday morning.
Dr John Crozier, Co-Chair of the NAAA and Chair of the Royal
Australasian College of Surgeons Trauma Committee said that Mr
Miller's death was a tragedy and urged the Queensland Government to
bring in reduced trading hours as soon as possible.
"It is shameful that while young people are killed in these
unprovoked attacks, children continue to be exposed to harmful
alcohol advertising as families tune their televisions to live
sporting events over the holidays," Dr Crozier said.
"The Australian Government failed to end the unhealthy link
between alcohol sponsorship and sport when the Commercial
Television Industry Code of Practice was recently reviewed.
"The Code contains a loophole which allows alcohol advertising
before 8.30pm during live broadcasts of sporting events, and as a
result children are exposed to an ever increasing rate of alcohol
"Instead of strengthening the regulations, the revised Code of
Practice has lowered the bar even further, extending the times at
which alcohol can be advertised, broadening the range of alcohol
promotions that are exempt from regulation, and reducing the
accessibility of the complaints process.
"Alcohol advertising has never been as pervasive, as inventive,
and as well-resourced as it is now. There is an
urgent need for effective regulation that prioritises the
health of children and young people."
National market research earlier this year showed that 74
percent of Australians support phasing out alcohol commercials from
television sports broadcasts, with only 8 percent opposed.
"Children who regularly see alcohol advertising are more likely
to start drinking at a younger age, and drink at harmful levels
when they reach adult-hood. Much of this marketing also reinforces
the harmful drinking culture in Australia and overwhelms health and
medical efforts to change this," Dr Crozier said.
"We know that an expert report prepared by the Australian
National Preventive Health Agency more than a year ago recommended
that the Government legislate to control alcohol advertising and
marketing if the industry failed to voluntarily remove the live
sports broadcast exemption.
"Commercial interests have been prioritised over expert advice
and community concerns, and it is time for either the Minister for
Communications or the relevant Minister from the Health portfolio
to step in and acknowledge the failure of self-regulation and the
need for legislated controls.
"A whole-of-system review that considers the effect of alcohol
advertising on young people
across all mediums is required, and the NAAA is calling for an
immediate end to the Code of Practice loophole which allows alcohol
advertising during sporting events before 8.30pm."
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