Campaigns

 

Secondary Supply

12 Years on - Victory in Victoria

Bruce Clark at Campaign Launch Mary Wooldridge, Bruce Clark and Micheal O'Brien John Fitzgerals, Mary Wooldridge, Bruce Clark, Michael O'Brien, Geoff Munro

Victoria has recently passed secondary supply legislation that makes it an offence to supply alcohol to a minor on private residential premises without the permission of the child's parents or legal guardian.. The legislation will come into effect on November 1 2011 and carries a maximum penalty of $7,000.00

The fight in Victoria is over and the Leigh Clark Foundation would like to thank the many people who made this possible. In particular we acknowledge the roles played by:

There has been a lot of speculation as to the effectivenes of this law. Many detractors point out that it will not solve the teenage drinking "problem." To listen to some commentators one would think that this law is all about establishing a set of rules for running a teenage booze up. It is not. This law addresses only one small aspect of teenage drinking and one only.

Who has the right to supply alcohol to your son or daughter?

Previously, any person, in the secrecy of their own home, could legally give your child an unlimited quantity of alcohol without your knowledge. This law takes away that legal "right". Now such uncaring, irresponsible or downright unscrupulous behaviour can be challenged. Anyone who supplies alcohol to your child without your permission simply does not have your child's interests at heart. Now that person, whatever their motivation, can now be charged with supplying alcohol to your child without your permission. That is what this law is about.

Of course parents still need to be on the lookout for alcohol related problems with their children. Parents still need to check up on parties that their children attend. Parents still need to set the rules. Nothing has changed here. Some helpful advice can be found in the Government's education program accompanying this law change. For further information please follow the link http://teendrinkinglaw.vic.gov.au/

We do urge Victorian parents to be vigilant. The ALP in Victoria, if their Press Release of 5/10/2011 is anything to go by, do not support the new law. Not surprising really. When in Government they fought the proposal for 12 years. To quote respected journaliat and former editor of The Age, The Sunday Age and Herald Sun, Mr Bruce Guthrie:

"The Labor Party has chosen not to oppose the changes, which is as close as you get these days to bipartisan support, but they still couldn't help taking a swipe at the amendments. The shadow minister for consumer protection, Lily D'Ambrosio, put out a media release last week saying she feared the new laws might lull parents into a false sense of security.
''The reality is many teenagers bring alcohol with them to a party,'' she said, adding: ''If there are 50 teenagers at a party and 25 have parental consent to be supplied with alcohol and 25 do not, this makes it very difficult for the host parents to know who is allowed to drink and who isn't.''
No, it doesn't. Under Labor there was confusion, but now there's clarity - if you haven't obtained the permission of parents to serve alcohol to under-age kids, don't do it. Nothing could be simpler."

It is matter of deep distress to me that this issue had to become political. But political it is. The political fight now extends into other Australian states and territories.

In South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and The Australian Capital Territory, secondary supply legislation is not in place.and the campaign to have nationally constent laws continues. We note that there are Private Members Bills in the Western Australian and South Australia Parliaments at the moment. Given the poor record of Private Members Bills in Australian Parliaments, we are not confident that these will be pass. They do however represent a start and we thank the members concerned for their support. The residents in these states are urged to maintain the pressure on their elected representatives before another child is lost. The old laws in WA, SA, NT and ACT are behind the rest of the country and must be changed to reflect community expectations. We will follow developments with interest.

Please take time to read some of the links below and if you feel the same way we do about these laws take time to demand change by emailing the Premier of your State.