The Science and politics of alcohol restrictions to reduce assault: three Australian case studies

Thursday 20 October 6 pm Presbyterian Community Centre, Tenby St. $5 admission.

Professor Kypros Kypri, School of Medicine & Public Health, The University of Newcastle, Australia

Regulating pub trading hours has long been viewed as effective violence prevention. Until recently, however, the evidence base was limited to studies showing increased harm when trading hours were liberalised, and of restrictions applied in unusual conditions, e.g., remote communities. In response to complaints from the police and the community, pubs were required to close at 3am (rather than 5am) in the NSW city of Newcastle from 2008. The nature of the intervention created an opportunity for generating strong inferences about the effects on violence. I will explain the ‘Newcastle experiment’ and the politics that gave rise to similar but improved restrictions in Sydney from 2014. I will present research on the outcomes of the Sydney changes and an analysis of the political machinations underpinning 2016 legislative changes in Queensland.

Professor Kypros Kypri
Kyp Kypri is a behavioural scientist interested in the evaluation of policies and interventions to reduce alcohol-related morbidity and mortality. He was trained in psychology and public health at UNSW, the University of California San Diego, and the University of Otago, and holds a NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship in alcohol-related injury and disease. With the input of many colleagues he has established an alcohol research group at the University of Newcastle which is the hub of several national and international collaborative studies.
He has authored >150 papers in general medical (e.g., JAMA), public health (e.g., American Journal of Public Health) and substance use journals (e.g., Addiction) and holds grants from national competitive funding agencies in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA.
Kyp has been engaged throughout his career in national, state and local alcohol policy in many areas, e.g., pub trading hours in NSW and Queensland, the minimum purchase/drinking age in New Zealand and the USA, the ‘alcopops’ tax in Australia, and alcohol broadcast advertising and sponsorship of sport in several countries. He has led and contributed to several large studies focused on regulation of alcohol sales in the night-time economies of Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Bhutan. He has been a consultant to local, state and national governments on the formulation of policies to reduce the incidence of alcohol-related harm.