DrinkWise and Queensland Hotels Association are launching new initiatives in regional Qld

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New regional Queensland initiatives to promote moderation, respect and responsibility in pubs, bars and bottle shops.

DrinkWise and the Queensland Hotels Association (QHA) are launching a new initiative to remind Queenslanders who choose to purchase and drink alcohol about the importance of
moderating their alcohol consumption, always being respectful towards others and knowing that support services are there to provide help and advice if needed.

This initiative expands upon DrinkWise’s education efforts in Queensland, which increased after the organisation’s research revealed Queenslanders (34%)* are significantly more likely to be
drinking alcohol at risky levels when compared with the nation’s average (28%).

Risky drinkers are classified as people who consume 10 or more standard drinks a week, or more than four standard drinks during a day.

In conjunction with Queensland Police, Member for Cairns and Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development Mr Michael Healy, Mayor of Cairns Cr Bob Manning OAM, QHA, Clubs
Queensland and the North Queensland Cowboys, the DrinkWise initiative aims to clearly set expectations around acceptable behaviour in licensed venues. It also reinforces that if people are
having trouble managing their consumption or behaviour, asking for help is okay, with the support of services including, Lives Lived Well, ReachOut, 13YARN, 1800RESPECT, DVConnect and Men’s Referral Service available to offer advice and support.

Moderation, respect and responsibility themed posters, coasters, and digital assets will be displayed in 24 pubs, bars and bottle shops throughout central Cairns from today. Moderation, mental health and support service social media messaging will also be tailored for adult audiences in the Cairns area, including specific moderation and mental health messaging directed towards young adults.

The initiative will also be expanded to the 49 licensed venues (93 including bottle shops) across the broader Cairns, Mount Isa and Townsville areas in regional Queensland as well as Clubs
Queensland venues across the state in the coming weeks.

DrinkWise Chief Executive Officer Simon Strahan said, “The latest Australian Government statistics confirm that Australians are continuing to make healthier and safer decisions with
respect to their alcohol consumption. Over the past 15 years we have seen drinking habits change substantially, with less drinking at risky levels and many reporting that they have cut back on their consumption.   Of course, while the majority of Australians are choosing to drink  within the recommended government guidelines, there are still some who are drinking at risky
levels, engaging in anti-social behaviour or turning to alcohol as a coping strategy, which is why we’re increasing our efforts in Queensland.”

Senior Sergeant of Queensland Police Gary Hunter said, “The DrinkWise messaging is really important to educate the wider community about drinking in moderation and being respectful to
those they live with and the wider community at all times. The resources remind our community about expected behaviour in our licensed venues and encourage them to reach out for help if
they or someone they know needs support managing their alcohol consumption.”

Member for Cairns and Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development Mr Michael Healy said, “This collaboration with police, industry, community and government will help to promote a great experience for patrons as well as reinforcing expectations around individual responsibility when entering our pubs, bars and bottle shops in regional Queensland. This is an important initiative that will also help set expectations for the 2.8 million visitors from across the globe who holiday here each year with us.”

Mayor of Cairns, Cr Bob Manning said “Education is important and this whole-of-community approach is a great step in the right direction. These DrinkWise materials will serve as consistent
reminders to those customers who choose to drink, to do so responsibly and to socialise in a respectful manner. They also remind customers that if they or someone they know need help
and support managing alcohol consumption there are some great support services available and that asking for help is a sign of strength.”

North Queensland Cowboys player Cohen Hess, said “The initiative is something all the Cowboys players are passionate about. We’re proud to work with DrinkWise to remind Queenslanders to take care of one another and if choosing to drink alcohol at a game, at a hotel or at home, it should always be in moderation and respecting those around them.”

QHA Chief Executive Bernie Hogan said “QHA is proud to support this initiative to remind patrons that having a great experience at licensed venues means respecting those around you and consuming in moderation if drinking alcohol. It is important that QHA are helping promote messages that encourage conversations about mental health, with pubs integral to our regional Queensland communities. We want to ensure that as our customers come together at licensed venues, to socialise, have a meal, catch up with friends and family, they have a great time and they also use these opportunities to talk about local issues and support each other,” said Hogan.

To find out more about this initiative or the work DrinkWise is doing as part of its efforts to create a safer and healthier drinking culture in Australia please visit www.drinkwise.org.au.

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