Posted on 07. Oct, 2011 in Clayton Update

Parents in the Clayton electorate must remain vigilant about the need to educate children about the harmful effects of binge drinking, the member for Clayton Hong Lim said today.

Mr Lim said he feared a campaign launched by the Baillieu Government to promote new laws fining adults who supply alcohol to minors may lull parents into a false sense of security.

“The problem with Mr Baillieu’s new laws is not what they will do – but what they won’t do,” Mr Lim said.

“My concern is that these laws in practice are unworkable and are distracting the Baillieu Government from investing in programs that will actually work – that is, better and more targeted education to parents and children about the harmful effects of underage drinking.”

Mr Lim said the Baillieu Government’s campaign about the new laws must warn parents that these new laws won’t stop children drinking at private homes.

“My concern is that some parents may think that these new laws will stop their children being supplied with alcohol at private home parties if they do not provide consent. Sadly, this is not the case,” Mr Lim said.

“The reality is many teenagers bring alcohol with them to a party.”

“The Baillieu Government must make sure parents are aware of the limitations of these laws.”

Mr Lim said there were also serious practical issues in enforcing the new laws for police and for parents hosting parties.

“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,” Mr Lim said.

Mr Lim said the Baillieu Government must maintain a focus on community education as the key to tackling binge drinking.

“Teenage binge drinking is a very serious social issue confronting parents today,” Mr Lim said.

“It has very harmful long-term health effects. Also young people under the influence of alcohol are more vulnerable to dangerous and violent situations.

“Labor supports effective strategies to combat this problem.”

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