In response to the disturbing statistics and to the research, evidence, submissions and general information presented both in writing and during the public consultations, it is the recommendation of the Expert Advisory Panel that the proposed Alcohol Harm Reduction Framework focus on the following key (high level) themes:
- a long-term and coordinated whole of government approach
- development of a more appropriate liquor regulation framework
- harm minimisation initiatives (including a sustained education program on the harmful effects of alcohol and promotion of the National Health and Medical Research Councils safe drinking guidelines)
- harm management initiatives.
The Final Report addresses a number of targeted initiatives within each of these key themes and the recommendations aim to support action in these areas.
It is the view of the Expert Advisory Panel that if the recommendations presented are comprehensively addressed alcohol consumption in the Northern Territory will trend downwards and reach or fall below the national average with a resultant reduction in harms.
In order for real success to be achieved in reducing alcohol related harm a bi-partisan, long-term, culturally responsive, public health, social determinants approach must be taken towards this issue. The statistics relating to harmful and risky drinking across the Northern Territory are stark, and it going to take a sustained and appropriately resourced effort to effect real change.