Context of RSA in NSW

Responsible Service of AlcoholThe NSW Government has made RSA mandatory because of concerns from both government and the community about alcohol abuse.

In excess of 14,000 premises are licensed to sell liquor in New South Wales, which makes alcohol widely available and enjoyed by many. While the majority of Australians enjoy low to moderate consumption of alcohol, there is increasing concern about the continuing patterns of excessive and binge drinking. Here are some startling facts as reported by the National Drug Strategy Health Survey:

  • Alcohol abuse costs NSW $7 million each day ($2.5 billion in a year)

  • The NSW Police Force spends at least $50 million a year responding to alcohol-related crime

  • More than 5,000 deaths per annum in Australia are attributed to alcohol, second only to tobacco as a preventable cause of death and hospitalisation.

  • One-third of injured patients attending St. Vincent’s Hospital Emergency Department have consumed alcohol prior to incurring their injury, and almost two-thirds of these patients have been drinking at licensed premises

  • 23.8 % of girls aged 14–19 years are drinking alcohol at levels that are putting themselves at risk of harm

  • Alcohol was involved in 41% of incidents of physical violence and 38% of sexual assaults experienced by women; younger women and Aboriginal women are most at risk of such violence

  • 12% of suicides, 16% of child abuse cases, 44% fire injuries, and 34% of falls and drowning are associated with alcohol consumption

  • Alcohol is identified as a factor in about 18% of all fatal crashes in NSW, but the figure is 27% in country areas

  • More than 75% of male inmates imprisoned for assault offences were affected by alcohol at the time of the offence

  • 75% of street incidents attended by police in six eastern Sydney patrols involved alcohol and 60% of these occurred near licensed premises

  • The proportion of both male and female drinkers reporting heavy drinking days was highest in the 16 to 24 years age group

  • Department of Family and Community Services case workers estimate that between 75 to 90% of their cases involved problematic alcohol or drug misuse

  • The most frequent response by staff (in licensed premises) to intoxication was to continue to serve alcohol

RSA is a whole-of-business approach to attracting patrons to a venue, managing them at the venue and ensuring they are safe when they leave the venue. The positives are that communities are safer, and the local amenity of the community is enhanced by a venue that is doing the right thing.