Campaign to promote responsible drinking
AHA general manager Brad Watts.
Some of Canberra's best known pubs and nightclubs hope to play a role in young drinkers having a safer summer.
A campaign aimed at the city's newest drinkers was launched on Monday, targeting 18-to-24-year-olds, many of whom are about to graduate from high school or finish university exams.
The joint initiative between the Youth Coalition and the Australian Hotels Association ACT branch is about encouraging young drinkers to be accountable.
''We're not saying don't drink, we're saying be responsible,'' AHA ACT general manager, Brad Watts, said about the launch.
''It's not a negative campaign saying, 'don't drink, act accountable'. It's finally a positive message.'' Based on Victoria's highly successful Championship Moves Campaign, the initiative sends 18-to-24-year-olds to local Canberra establishments promoting positive decision making and awareness.
The campaign, which is funded by the Australian government, runs until April 2014 and has the full support of ACT Policing and venues including: Mooseheads Pub and Nightclub, Academy nightclub, and King O'Malley's Irish Pub.
''Anything we can do to help young kids coming through Academy nightclub and anything we can do to make it safer by not putting kids in harm's way we'll do,'' Academy owner, Frank Condi, said.
Mr Watts said, ''This is about local venues, local people, looking after each other.''
''There has been a 6.9 per cent decrease in alcohol-related incidents over the past financial year. That's an impressive achievement with police and licensed venues working together [it's] something we'd like improve further.''
The campaign will also feature in-venue promotional activities such as photos, merchandise, and visits by the Champions ACT Pilot Team.
''Six young people aged 18-24, three guys and three girls, will be going into venues and engaging young people through fun promotional activities, spreading the message of looking after your friends while drinking,'' ACT Youth Coalition director, Emma Robertson, said.
''The key thing for us in this campaign is not to discourage young people from drinking … we just want the city to be safe and comfortable with people enjoying their night.''