Encourage your local Council to develop a Local Alcohol Policy
If your local council DOES NOT have a Local Alcohol Policy here are some things you can do to encourage them to do so.
Build your case – gather evidence of alcohol-related harm in the District
Discuss the need for a Local Alcohol Policy with your local representatives and gauge their interest. This might be local or community board members, local councillor, etc.
Discuss your interest in a Local Alcohol Policy with others who might share your concerns.
Form an Alcohol Action Group and work together to persuade your local Council that a Local Alcohol Policy is needed.
To learn how to create a local Alcohol Action Group, click here.
If your local council is considering developing a Local Alcohol Policy let them know that you are interested and ask how you can assist them.
Participate in the process of developing a Local Alcohol Policy
If your local council is in the process of developing a Local Alcohol Policy:
- Share any relevant information you have collected with them and offer to assist them further; e.g. host a community meeting, invite them to attend a relevant meeting.
- Make sure other people in your community are aware and support them to participate in process.
- Participate in any feedback or reference groups that Council hosts; and encourage others to do so.
- Suggest the Council to undertake a community survey to gauge the level of support for a range of policy options.
Submit on Draft Local Alcohol Policy
The Council are required to consult on their Draft Local Alcohol Policy. The minimum period of consultation is one month.
Look on their website or contact your local Council for a copy of the Draft LAP and check the process for feedback on it.
Council are likely to have a submission guide and/or form. You don’t necessarily have to use the specified form. However, if it serves your needs then use it as it will be easier for the Council to process your submission. If the form doesn’t work for you then you can present your own written submission.
Consider the Draft Policy as a whole, and each of its objectives and elements.
You can use our Guidelines for Effective Local Alcohol Policies to help you to review the Draft Local Policy and determine a) what you support, b) what you don’t support and c) what you recommend to strengthen the Policy.
Make sure you provide all the information the Council requires and ensure to get your submission in by the deadline.
It is very important to make a submission even if you fully support the Policy. If the policy is appealed you will not have any rights to take part in the appeal process if you haven’t made a submission.
If you can, encourage and assist others to submit; you can share your submission or develop/share template.
You might consider a submission writing workshop – this could be arranged and/or facilitated by your local Health Promotion team or other health provider. Click here to find local groups in your area to connect with.
Present an oral submission
The Special Consultative Procedure includes the opportunity to make an oral submission. These hearings may be held by a special Council committee or by the Council as a whole.
Prepare and practice your presentation.
Consider ways of making your presentation memorable. Make it real, and present a personal view backed up by evidence. Share stories, photographs or video to demonstrate your views.
Appeal the Provisional Local Alcohol Policy
Once the Provisional Local Alcohol Policy is notified you will be able to look at how the Council has responded to your and other community feedback.
The Council may release the rationale for their decisions. If they don’t, or you are unable to find them, you can ask Council for more information.
If you are not satisfied with the Provisional policy, you have a number of options.
- Lodge an appeal yourself – please note that this will be a significant undertaking. And there is a fee of $517.50 to lodge an appeal. It is also advisable that you have some legal advice.
- Support an appeal – you might choose to join with others to lodge an appeal or offer to be a witness for another appellant.
- Apply to the Authority to be a Party of Interest under section 205 – this will allow you to participate in the hearing with almost all of the rights of an appellant. You may not be able to cross examine witnesses, however you can apply for leave to do so.
At this point it is would be advisable to discuss your options, as these are important decisions.
For more information, advice and support click here to find organisations that can help.