Surgeons call for support on Qld alcohol amendment bill


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15 February 2016

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has joined with more than a dozen other influential organisations to support the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, as Queensland Parliament gets ready to vote on it.

RACS has lent its support to organisations such as the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM), the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), the AMA Queensland, the Queensland Police Union, the Queensland Nurses Union, the Salvation Army and many others, to urge local members of Parliament to support this life-saving legislation.

It is estimated that the level of alcohol consumption by Queenslanders is the third highest in the country, with Queensland residents consuming 11.03 litres of pure alcohol per year compared to the national average of 10.42 litres.

John Crozier, Chair of the RACS Trauma Committee says that Australian and international research demonstrates that for every additional hour of trading after midnight, there is a 16-20 per cent increase in assaults and conversely, for every hour of reduced trading there is a 20 per cent reduction in assaults.

"Research has also shown that alcohol-related assaults increase significantly after midnight," Dr Crozier said.

"In Sydney, non-domestic assaults have decreased by 32 per cent in Kings Cross and 26 per cent in the Sydney Central Business District (CBD) following the introduction of 3am last drinks and 1.30am lockouts in February 2014.

"The evidence is clear, and it is up to LNP, Katter Party and Independents to put their support behind these changes that will save lives.

"The College is ready and waiting to assist the Government in the areas of advancing important trauma data collection and public education on the ill effects of excessive alcohol," Dr Crozier said.

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