The audit assessed the effectiveness of the Department of
Justice, Victoria Police and the Victorian Commission for Gambling
and Liquor Regulation in preventing and reducing the impact of
alcohol-related harm on the community.
Alcohol-related harm costs Victoria an estimated $4.3 billion per
Despite the implementation of various strategies and
initiatives, the level of reported alcohol-related harm has
increased significantly over the past 10 years.
Harm minimisation efforts have been hampered by the lack of a
whole-of-government policy position on the role of alcohol in
society, by poorly chosen, implemented and evaluated initiatives,
by inconsistent and cumbersome liquor licensing processes and
legislation, and by a lack of coordinated, intelligence-led and
The Department of Justice's initiatives to prevent and reduce
alcohol-related harm were fragmented, superficial and reactive
instead of targeted, evidence-based, complementary and well
The liquor licensing regime is not effectively minimising
alcohol-related harm. This is due to a lack of transparency in
decision-making, insufficient guidance on regulatory processes,
administrative errors, poor quality data and a lack of engagement
There is no overarching whole-of-government enforcement strategy
to comprehensively address unlawful supply, particularly service to
intoxicated patrons and minors, which is the cause of much
alcohol-related harm. Inaccurate and incomplete data is further
hampering enforcement efforts.
A fundamental change in approach to strategy development,
licensing and enforcement is required before any noticeable impact
on reducing harm is likely.