Why does Council have an Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Policy?

The misuse of alcohol and other drugs is widely recognised in Australia as a major health problem, and one that has broader social and economic costs.Local government has an important role in reducing harms from alcohol and other drugs through planning and regulatory controls, advocacy, research, partnership, referrals and prevention programs including providing non-alcohol related events and activities. The City of Maribyrnong, and Footscray in particular, has a history of illicit drug use and trafficking and heroin use is still relatively high. But the two most widely available and socially acceptable drugs, alcohol and tobacco, cause the most drug-related harm. Maribyrnong City Council has a strong history of taking action on the harms caused by the misuse of alcohol and other drugs. Growth, gentrification and imminent residential development, combined with changing patterns of alcohol and other drug use over the last decade, has prompted Council to research the local policy context and re-affirm its position on managing alcohol and other drugs within the municipality.

How was the policy developed?

Extensive research and consultation has been conducted, (see the discussion paper in the document library), to inform the development of the policy. Following a review of relevant local data, research evidence and stakeholder consultation, a framework for action has been developed with specific actions against each priority area: advocacy, research, partnerships, information provision, and leadership.

What other organisations are involved in AOD in our area?

Strong local partnerships are crucial in addressing the complex issues raised by misuse of alcohol and other drugs. These organisations play an important and complementary role in this space.
  1. The Alcohol and Drug Foundation delivers the Good Sports program to local sporting clubs and The Other Talk workshop to help families talk openly about alcohol and other drugs.
  2. VicHealth works with organisations to develop effective interventions and improve community awareness on key health issues facing Victorians. Preventing harm from alcohol is one of VicHealth's five health promotion priorities.
  3. Cohealth runs Health Works in Footscray which supports the health and wellbeing of people who inject drugs by providing them with medical and general health care, safer using equipment, and education.
  4. Uniting Care ReGen in partnership with Odyssey House coordinate and deliver alcohol and other drug treatment services across northern and western metropolitan Melbourne.
  5. Victoria Police partnered with Council on A Shared Approach to Safety in the City of Maribyrnong 2015-17, which prioritises minimising the impact of alcohol and other drugs on the community. Victoria Police addresses the demand, supply and harm associated with alcohol and other drugs through monitoring and enforcing compliance with liquor licenses, enforcement and proactive policing.
  6. Research institutes - for example, the University of Melbourne recently completed a report for the City of Maribyrnong - 'Changing Alcohol and Other Drug Trends in Maribyrnong'. The Burnet Institute have also actively participated in local AOD research.

What other Council policies does the Draft AOD Policy align with?

The policy aligns with key Council policies including the Shared Approach to Safety in the City of Maribyrnong 2015-17, Draft Licensed Premises Policy, Draft Council Plan 2017-2021 and Draft Human Rights and Social Justice Framework (which version)

Does Council provide needle/syringe collection services?

Council provides needle/syringe collection services, including free disposal containers to community members and street cleansing activities. Residents can call the free Syringe Collection Hotline 9688 0200 at any time of the day or week to arrange for the collection of needles and syringes in public areas such as laneways, parks and gutters.