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Centacare dismayed at Carr capitulation on easy alcohol

Centacare Catholic Community Services in Sydney has expressed its "alarm and dismay" at "the simple announcement by Premier Carr that NSW has been 'forced' to deregulate access to liquor".

The state faces an "explosion in new liquor outlets" after Premier Bob Carr said his Government "had a gun to its head" by the Federal Treasurer over its compliance with national competition policy. However this morning's Sydney Morning Herald cites documentary evidence to point to the State Government's failure to mount a formal and detailed argument against alcohol industry deregulation.

The statement released by Centacare late yesterday said the Carr Government 'failure' "amounts to a capitulation when a national principle of free market liberal thinking is at variance with proper concern for the welfare of citizens, especially the young".

It mentions the Summit on Alcohol Abuse that was held in August as a requirement of both Houses of State Parliament, and its finding that easy access to alcohol has a direct connection to a culture of risk taking among young people.

The statement called on both Federal and State governments to "reestablish the wellbeing of people as the centre of their agenda".

"We call on the Prime Minister to recognise the validity of liquor regulation in NSW and to cancel the fines imposed by his Treasurer. We call on Premier Carr to reassert the importance of liquor outlet regulation in his State."

Media Release (Centacare Catholic Community Services Sydney 10/12/03)

Carr's bungled alcohol defence (Sydney Morning Herald 11/12/03)
Easy alcohol lifts crime, study warns (Sydney Morning Herald 11/12/03)
Saturated market will send some to the wall, say retailers (Sydney Morning Herald 11/12/03)
Liquor shops galore as NSW loses battle (Sydney Morning Herald 10/12/03)
Centacare Sydney
NSW Alcohol Summit

11 Dec 2003