If you are considering integrating alcohol actions into your council’s strategy or plan, understanding what the local alcohol issues are and what your council is already doing in response is an important first step. This understanding will help to put actions in place that are cost effective and most likely to make a difference to the community and to your council’s bottom line.
Develop a community alcohol profile
- To become aware of the nature and degree of problems associated with alcohol product consumption in the community.
- To identify the factors that support or cause the problems associated with alcohol product consumption to occur.
- To identify which of these factors local government can realistically influence to prevent and reduce local problems associated with alcohol product consumption.
- To inform effective use of limited local government resources.
- Given the limited resources of local governments and their broad scope of responsibility, it is beneficial to place resources where they are most needed and most likely to have a positive, long-term impact.
- Having a good understanding of the real issues can help.
- Articulating an effective suite of actions within planning and strategic documents can support how harms from alcohol product consumption are managed and prevented. Sometimes it is not obvious that alcohol product consumption is a factor involved so it is important to properly understand the issue.
The following steps provide some guidance for local governments to assist with this process:
- Identify local issues of concern to the community.
- Clarify the nature of the issues, when they occur, how often, who is involved and who is affected.
- Determine which of the issues directly or indirectly impact on or relate to local government business.
- Determine which of the issues have alcohol product consumption as a causal or associated factor.
- Identify the specific alcohol-related factors that contribute to the local problems occurring.
- Identify how those alcohol-related factors sustain the problems that are occurring.
- Identify how local government could prevent or minimise the problem (directly or indirectly).