Reducing Harm from Alcohol & Gambling in Mirboo North
Earlier this month, South Gippsland Shire Council (‘SGSC’) hosted a forum in Mirboo North to hear the voice of the community on the issue of Reducing Harm from Alcohol and Gambling.
A small group of interested community members attended to hear from two very engaging speakers: Maya Rivis from VicHealth spoke about alcohol harm reduction and Gabi Byre, a ReSPIN researcher in gambling spoke on that topic.
One of the messages from the Forum was that, as a community, we have the power to influence the types of operating permits issued by licencing authorities for the serving of alcohol and the introduction of gaming or gambling machines. For example, the community can work together and present a united voice to the licencing authorities for consideration as part of the application process. There are many examples of communities influencing the hours of operation of a venue, noise controls and the numbers of patrons allowed at any one time. In the past, a gaming machine was installed in a venue in Mirboo North, but due to community pressure this was eventually removed.
A key focus during the workshop activities was the identification of the issues that create unhealthy attitudes to alcohol and gambling such as isolation and lack of inclusion. Mirboo North has a reputation for being community orientated and it was agreed that with a large number of community organisations we are already well placed to address these key risk factors.
Looking out for each other and being inclusive especially of those living alone or suffering loss and bereavement can make a critical difference in an individual’s outlook and sense of belonging.
The event was organised as part of the South Gippsland Liquor and Gambling Strategy Action Plan. Sarah Spragg and Angela Aitken, Health Promotion students from Deakin University assisted in organising the event while on placement with Vicki Bradley, Social Planning Officer from SGSC.
Many thanks to Vicki, Sarah and Angela for bringing this event together. If you would like to find out more about the South Gippsland Liquor and Gambling Strategy, or any of the information contained in the forum, please contact Vicki Bradley on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 5662 9200.