Initiatives to minimise the harmful effects of alcohol consumption in Australian society.

Page last updated: 08 August 2014

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

The Australian Government is committed to reducing harms caused by alcohol, including those as a result of drinking during pregnancy. The Department of Health has made significant investment over several years in improving our understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in Australia.

The FASD Action Plan will help to inform future direction to address the harmful impact of FASD on children and families and taking into account the many complex social and medical issues involved.

Commonwealth FASD Action Plan (Word 74 KB)
Commonwealth FASD Action Plan (PDF 461 KB)

National Binge Drinking Strategy

The Australian Government's National Binge Drinking Strategy (NBDS) aims to address Australia's harmful binge drinking culture, especially among young people. The strategy focuses on raising awareness of the short and long-term impacts of 'risky' drinking among young people, and over time, contributing to the development of a more responsible drinking culture within Australian society.

In 2008 the Australian Goverment announced the $103.5 million National Binge Drinking Strategy with an initial commitment of $53.5 million over four years (2008-09 to 2011-12) for the Department of Health and Ageing to develop local solutions by strengthening partnerships between local governments, sporting organisations, police and the non-government sector to affect the environments that shape the unhealthy culture of binge drinking among young people.

The Department was responsible for the overall roll out of the first two phases of the NBDS funding. The Department's responsibility for the majority of the 2008 NBDS concluded in 2012. This funding comprised a number of projects funded over 2008-09 to 2011-12 including:

  • Rounds 1 and 2 of the Community level initiatives to confront the culture of binge drinking, particularly in sporting organisations. For a list of successful applicants, see Community Level Initiative on the alcohol website.
  • An early intervention program to act earlier to assist young people and ensure that they assume personal responsibilty for their binge drinking(which has been continued to June 2013.)
  • An advertising campaign that confronted young people with the costs and consequences of binge drinking - the 'Don't Turn a Night Out into a Nightmare' campaign.

In 2010, the Government committed a further $50 million over 2010-11 to 2013-14 to expand the NBDS. The expansion of the NBDS has been transferred to the Australian National Preventive Health Agency. For more information please visit Australian National Preventive Health Agency Website.

The Australian National Preventive Health Agency is responsible for the following programs:

  • The Community Sponsorship Fund serves as an alternative to alcohol sponsorship for community sporting organisations. Through the sponsorship program the Australian Government has offered key National Sporting Organisations the opportunity to provide a sporting environment from national through to community level that is alcohol-promotion free. For more information please visit Tackling Binge Drinking Website.
  • Community Level Initiatives
    • The third grants round of the Community Level Initiative provides funding for community based grants for projects that enable non-government organisations, local government, police and interested parties to work together to develop local solutions to reduce and prevent Youth binge drinking specifically in the age group of 12-24 years. For more information please visit Australian National Preventive Health Agency Website.
    • The expansion of the Good Sports Program which is an initiative supporting local sporting clubs around Australia to build a culture of responsible drinking at the grass roots level.For more information please visit Good Sports Website
  • Enhancement of alcohol telephone counselling and referral services.
  • The Government is developing an alcohol social marketing campaign that will promote access to, and utilisation of, counselling services as well as other anti-binge drinking messages. The Be the influence (tackling binge drinking) campaign encourages young adults to think about the choices they make about drinking alcohol, particularly possible negative consequences of drinking too much.For more information please visit Tackling Binge Drinking Website and Facebook Page on National Binge Drinking Campaign.

National alcohol guidelines

The National Health and Medical Research Council's Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol were released on 6 March 2009. Information and resources relating to the revised guidelines are available on the alcohol website.

Guidelines for the Treatment of Alcohol Problems 2009

Guidelines for the Treatment of Alcohol Problems 2009 (PDF 1213 KB)

National Alcohol Strategy 2006-2011

The National Alcohol Strategy 2006-2011 was endorsed by the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy in May 2006 and was developed through collaboration between Australian governments, non-government and industry partners and the broader community. It outlines priority areas for coordinated action to develop drinking cultures that support a reduction in alcohol-related harm in Australia.

The four priority areas that have been nominated as the focus of the strategy are intoxication, public safety and amenity, health impacts, and cultural place and availability.

On 24 April 2009, the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy approved an extension of the term of the current National Alcohol Strategy 2006-2009 until 2011.

A revised strategy is being developed under the auspice of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs.

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