Wenge supports total liquor ban

National, Normal

The National, Monday, May 2, 2011

MOROBE Governor Luther Wenge is backing last week’s recommendation at the alcohol abuse symposium in Lae that called for the total ban of alcohol.
Apart from the ban, the symposium recommended that harsher penalties for offenders be imposed and effective enforcement of the sale and consumption of alcohol in communities to cut abuse be implemented.
The recommendations came at the end of the two-day forum last Wednesday where participants from government, the private sector and civil society organisations put forward their collective recommendations to the symposium committee under the Law and Justice Sector.
Wenge was a guest at the closing, saying he would prefer a total ban on alcohol.
The government group recommended that:
* The transfer of liquor licensing boards from provincial governments to police; 
* Revocation of licences of small dealers,
* Closer regulation of alcohol content; and 
* Amending the constitution to accommodate alcohol and drug abuse.
The private sector group recommended for:
* An overhaul of the legal framework and structure of liquor licensing laws and its agencies, which should include these recommendations; and
* To include business houses and other stakeholders on alcohol advisory boards.
The civil society groups recommended for:
* The creation of a new ministry for churches and youth which will importantly play a part in reducing alcohol abuse; and
* Stricter penalties on abusers and offenders.
This also added the inclusion of youth representatives in liquor licensing boards and to build rehabilitation centres in the districts for alcohol abusers.
The most popular recommendation was for more government funding and assistance.
Meanwhile, the three most interesting ones were the call for issuing of licences to adult drinkers, the introduction of alcohol education into the education system and to penalise parents of under-age children found drinking.