Re­search shows booze in­creases so­cial harm

South Waikato News - - OPINION -

I re­cently came across an ar­ti­cle in your lo­cal pa­per which dis­turbed me . . . a pro­posed liquor store next to the Toko­roa Youth Park and, god for­bid, a chil­dren’s cen­tre! This ac­tu­ally de­fies not only com­mon sense, but also well doc­u­mented re­search. It is gen­er­ally well ac­cepted that off-li­cence liquor out­lets tend to be lo­cated in ar­eas of high so­cial de­pri­va­tion and are as­so­ci­ated with lower al­co­hol prices and longer open­ing hours.

In­ter­na­tional re­search also shows that a high den­sity of liquor out­lets in­creases so­cial harm in a com­mu­nity – in­clud­ing var­i­ous po­lice events and mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents.

Doesn’t Toko­roa have enough liquor out­lets (both on and of­fli­cence) for good­ness sake?

Given, the liquor store may be a com­po­nent of a larger pro­posed devel­op­ment and as­so­ci­ated eco­nomic spin-offs. But please David Fer­mah, don’t lodge a liquor li­cens­ing ap­pli­ca­tion – the long-term cost to the com­mu­nity is too high. Why not work with coun­cil and come up with a propo­si­tion which can still make you a re­turn, but also bring com­mu­ni­ties to­gether – not help tear them apart. Be in­no­va­tive peo­ple! Your com­mu­nity de­serves it.

It is pro­posed that the Al­co­hol Re­form Bill will make lo­cal au­thor­i­ties con­sider the ef­fects on the com­mu­nity of re­new­ing or is­su­ing new liquor li­cences and widen the grounds to ob­ject them. Un­til then I im­plore Mayor Sin­clair to lead the way and take a stand – do not al­low a liquor store here! Isn’t our com­mu­nity, and es­pe­cially our chil­dren, worth it?

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