The City of Cockburn has received unanimous support after their decision to limit the number of bottle shops to two per local shopping centre.
Compelling evidence from several Australian studies shows increased levels of alcohol are detrimental towards public health and safety.
This move will prevent an increase in the availability of alcohol.
Logan Howlett, City of Cockburn Mayor, believes this is an important step forward to ensure the future health and welfare of the community.
“A number of public health reports are saying that people are getting increased exposure to alcohol, leading to more time, domestic violence, chronic illnesses and also impacting generally on families in the community.” Mr Howlett said.
The Public Health Association of Australia CEO, Michael Moore, said there was a very strong link between increased alcohol outlet density, poor health, and assault and family violence.
“The Council’s documentation shows clearly that there is already ample access to liquor outlets in the area,”
“The City of Cockburn should be supported in adopting an evidence-based approach to ensuing that the community is protected from these harms,” he said.
Nick Jones, Cockburn’s Environmental Health Manager, explained that since 2000 the number of bottle shops had doubled, with eight of those being approved in the last six years.
The total number of liquor outlets increased by 48%, equating to one accessible liquor outlet for at least every 1,700 residents.
Mr Jones expressed if the current growth rate of bottle shops continued, it would be a concern to the community.
A study by Dr Michael Livingston, from the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at La Trobe University, found the the availability and accessibility of liquor was associated with increased rates of assault, domestic violence, chronic and heavy drinking.
For every 10,000 additional litres of alcohol sold by off-site outlets, domestic violence rose by 26% in those areas.
The Foundation for Alcohol Research conducted an Australia wide poll, finding 92% of Australians believe there is a direct link between alcohol and family and domestic violence. People also think the Government should be doing more to address the role alcohol plays in violent incidents.
The City of Cockburn will inform the Director of Liquor Licensing, and lodge objections to refuse planning applications where more than two bottle shops are proposed for any local shopping centre.