Responsible alcohol consumption messages will be taken direct to consumers in restaurants, cafes, clubs and bars throughout the ACT with the launch today of a new project by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne, and the ACT Attorney-General, Simon Corbell.
Swing-top water bottles, embossed with messages about what constitutes a standard drink, will be distributed to local bars, clubs, restaurants and cafes to educate consumers about the dangers of excessive drinking.
Mr Pyne welcomed the project, saying reducing the level of alcohol abuse was a shared responsibility of both the Australian and state and territory governments.
"Drinking alcohol may be socially acceptable but it is not without risks, particularly if people drink to excess," Mr Pyne said.
"Alcohol is responsible for five per cent of the total disease burden in Australia, while alcohol abuse is estimated to cost the economy about $7.6 billion every year.
"The ACT water bottle project, which is funded through the Australian Government's National Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy, is an innovative way of getting responsible drinking messages direct to consumers in social settings."
Mr Pyne also thanked the Australian Hotels Association, ClubsACT and the Restaurant and Catering Association NSW/ACT for their support of the project.
"Governments and the hospitality industry need to work together to get messages across about safe drinking behaviour and the responsible service of alcohol," he said.
"This project will see 10,000 embossed water bottles distributed pubs, clubs and restaurants throughout the ACT free of charge.
"The messages on the bottles about what constitutes a standard drink will help patrons to better monitor their alcohol consumption and to also think about the possible health and social consequences of drinking to excess," Mr Pyne said.