Support for curbs on teen drinking
Support for curbs on teen drinking

Most West Australians support tougher laws to limit teenagers' access to alcohol, market research shows.

But the independent survey of more than 1000 adults last month reveals people have mixed views about a proposal to slug big hotels extra licensing fees to fund community education about alcohol harm.

Commissioned by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and carried out by Painted Dog Research, the survey sought opinion on some of the 141 recommendations from a review of WA's Liquor Control Act being considered by Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron.

The survey found 88 per cent of people supported secondary supply laws to make it an offence to supply alcohol to juveniles on unlicensed premises without parents' permission.

More than three-quarters of respondents supported giving police more power to use cadets in controlled purchase or "sting" operations.

At present, retailers who fail to ask for identification cannot be fined because the cadets are aged 18 or over, so police argue they need to be able to use underage cadets.

Fewer than half of those surveyed supported a plan to make higher-risk licensed premises pay a surcharge, based on size, to fund community education.

Leading health groups yesterday called for early action on key recommendations that focus on reducing alcohol use by children and young people.

McCusker centre director Mike Daube said there was strong community support and the Government should not give in to alcohol industry pressure to delay acting.

"We urge the Government to act speedily on legislation on secondary supply to minors, controlled purchase powers for police, curbs on alcohol promotion, strong public education programs and better public involvement in liquor licensing," Professor Daube said.

Australian Medical Association WA president Richard Choong said the State Government needed to move quickly on what was a key policy issue.

The West Australian

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