Alcohol related assault and violence down by 35% on Coast thanks to CALM
  • Thursday 12 May 2011

Top national award recognition this week for the Collaborative Approach to Liquor Management (CALM) program comes on the back of Police statistics released by Superintendent Ben Hanbidge that show a recent reduction in alcohol related assault and violence by over 35% across the Sunshine Coast.

The Sunshine Coast CALM program was announced as the winner of the Excellence in Alcohol Management category of the 2011 National Awards for Local Government on Monday (9 May 2011).

The CALM program – a partnership approach from government agencies, non-government organisations and business owners to alcohol management – has been running on the Sunshine Cost for several years.

Other figures released by Police Superintendent Hanbidge show significant decreases in alcohol related assault and violence since 2009 in:

  • Mooloolaba by 70%
  • Maroochydore by 33%
  • Noosa by 13%.

Community Policy and Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the positive regional results combined with the top award win was a fantastic achievement that demonstrates the CALM program providing benefits to the entire Coast community.

"This national award really shows that the combined efforts of police, the community, licensed operators and Sunshine Coast Council is having a significant impact on reducing alcohol related incidents and crime locally," she said.

"The positive results are now starting to become very apparent. Police report that alcohol related assault and violence is down by more than a third in the region while complaints against licensed premises to police have decreased to an all time low and the membership numbers to the CALM program continue to grow."

CALM liquor accords now exist across the Sunshine Coast in Caloundra, Hinterland, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Nambour, Noosa and the Maroochy North Shore. The establishment of these local accords recognises that each area is unique and can each face varying issues.

Membership of each accord is made up of local liquor providers, State and Local Government, businesses, community members and other interested agencies. The accords focus on local liquor related trends, issues and positive approaches in addressing these matters on a local level.

Community Programs Manager, Mike Lollback said CALM liquor accords have raised the bar with the Sunshine Coast setting standards in best liquor practice across Queensland.

"The diverse range of stakeholders that make up the liquor accords throughout the region have worked so hard together on a regular basis in the interest of preventing alcohol-related violence and maximising community safety," he said.

"The real strength of this program has been the efforts and commitment of local licensees. Even during tough economic times the 120 plus licensee members of CALM have worked closely together and with government agencies and police to help make the Sunshine Coast safe."

The overall national Local Government award winner will be announced in Canberra later this year.