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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 293 asked in the Legislative Council on 27 June 2017 by Hon Colin Tincknell

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on

      293. Hon COLIN TINCKNELL to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health:
      (1) Is the minister aware of a report by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and St John Ambulance WA, which received mention in The West Australian of Thursday, 22 June 2017, on subjects including ambulance call‑outs for alcohol intoxication?
      (2) Has the minister noted that in a 12‑month period, ambulances were called to 247 requests for urgent medical assistance involving alcohol consumption by girls aged 13 to 18 years old compared with 212 call‑outs for males the same age?
      (3) Will the minister advise the chamber of steps being taken by the Department of Health to minimise alcohol consumption and overdosing by youngsters, especially girls?
      (4) Is there a cooperative effort in process between the Department of Health and the Department of Education to redress youth drunkenness?
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. I am advised the following.
(1)–(2) Yes.
      (3) The Western Australian government is committed to a range of evidence‑based initiatives to prevent and reduce alcohol‑related harm experienced by children and young people. These strategies are not gender specific and aim to reduce alcohol‑related harm in all Western Australian young people aged below 18 years. Strategies include the following. A school drug education and road aware program is available to all schools across Western Australia, which provides students with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions around alcohol and other drug use. Community education via the ''Alcohol. Think Again'' campaign, including the recently launched campaign titled ''Parents, Young People and Alcohol'', advises parents and young people that for individuals under 18 years of age, no alcohol is the safest choice. Education and support is provided to the community and parents through the Alcohol and Drug Information Service and the Parent Drug Information Service. It is ensured that access to prevention and appropriate treatment services is available throughout the state. Secondary supply laws were introduced in 2015 to support parents who choose not to supply their child with alcohol. Encouragingly, the most recent 2014 Australian school students alcohol and drug survey found that fewer young people aged 12 to 17 years old are consuming alcohol than at any time in the past decade. Not only were fewer young people drinking, but of those who drank, fewer reported drinking at risky levels.
      (4) The state government funds the school drug education and road awareness program. This program is provided as a joint initiative of the government, and Catholic and independent schools. The SDERA program is the state government's primary drug and road safety education strategy for children and young people. It provides a resilience approach to road safety and alcohol and other drugs education. The program supports school staff, early childhood educators and community agencies with professional learning, resources and statewide consultancy.