The Alcohol Community Action Project (ACAP) is a pilot project that supports people and organisations who want to prevent and redress alcohol-related harms in their communities across NSW in collaboration with the NSW government, local councils, police, health and the industry. The pilot project consists of two key resources; this website and a community adviser. It aims to ensure that the control of liquor outlets reflect the expectations and aspirations local communities and not be solely driven by the wishes of liquor industry.
ACAP helps explain the complexities of problematic liquor-related Development Applications (DA’s), liquor licensing and related approvals, and complaints about liquor outlets. ACAP helps people within communities to mobilise and achieve:
- A community free from alcohol-related harms so everyone can safely enjoy public spaces day and night.
- An informed and equal say on all liquor-related decisions that impact upon their community.
- A community that is not unfairly burdened with the high costs and dislocations of alcohol-related harms arising from the supply, promotion and availability of alcohol.
The problem we are trying to fix
Navigating the liquor licensing and planning systems is complex for community members. This is because of the different pieces of legislation and regulation and the several bodies within the systems. At the moment there is no targeted support for communities to interact with these systems. This results in unsuccessful objections and complaints or community members not engaging with these systems at all.
About the project
In January 2014, the NSW Government made some significant announcements relating to managing alcohol-related harms. While the new measures of a 3.00am last drinks and 1.30am lockouts in Sydney’s CBD are welcome, they stopped short of including communities in the liquor approval decision-making process and extending the benefits of reduced last drinks across the whole of NSW. ACAP aims to fill this gap by providing a resource that empowers local communities to engage in the decisions about the opening of new liquor outlets, the extension of trading hours, making complaints about undue alcohol-related disturbances and liquor promotions.
Tony Brown has substantial experience assisting communities understand liquor licensing systems, processes and related regulations to address their alcohol-related concerns.
In 2008, Tony helped drive the case for dealing with alcohol-related harms in Newcastle NSW. This led to the introduction of a new set of conditions including a reduction in late-night trading hours of licensed premises. The ‘Newcastle Conditions’ resulted in a reduction in alcohol-related assaults and stronger and more diverse night-time economy.