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Government boosts efforts to reduce alcohol related harm

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THE HON MARK BUTLER MP Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Minister for Social Inclusion Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform


21 August 2012

Government Boosts Efforts to Reduce Alcohol Related Harm

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler today announced funding for projects aimed at reducing alcohol related harm in the community.

Mr Butler said the funding was focussed on reducing the misuse of alcohol during pregnancy.

“Research links moderate to high levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy with the risk of a variety of abnormalities in the unborn child,” Mr Butler said.

“People born with fetal alcohol syndrome often have difficulty in learning, developmental delays, behavioural problems and other mental health effects.”

“We’re providing more than $750,000 over three years for the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders to support its work as the peak body.”

Mr Butler also announced more than $1 million for projects that raise awareness of the risks of harmful drinking - particularly during pregnancy.

“Funding will be provided to the Foundation of Alcohol Research and Education to work with health professionals in raising awareness with patients about the risks of harmful drinking - particularly to pregnancies.”

To optimise the impact of the alcohol industry warning labels, funding will also be provided to DrinkWise Australia to work with industry to develop ‘point of sale’ information for consumers at liquor retailers, clubs, pubs and hotels.

Mr Butler said it was important to work with all stakeholders so that consumers get the right information.

“Point of sale information is critical in helping people make informed choices about their drinking.”

The projects build on the $103.5 million National Binge Drinking Strategy and on specific Government investments we have made for better prevention and understanding of fetal alcohol syndrome.

For more information, contact the minister’s office on 02 6277 7280