Mandurah’s underage drinking tops national average

MORE than half of Mandurah's 14-year-olds are regular drinkers, new research from Deakin University has found, exceeding the national average by 13 percent.

Deakin health communication academic Professor John Toumbourou said: “When asked where they obtain their alcohol they commonly reported getting it from home, but in some cases from bottle shops”.

He described a recent survey where a legal-aged person of underage appearance attempted to buy alcohol, and they found that overwhelmingly they were successful without having to show identification.

While an average of 60 percent of young people Australia wide were served, Mr Toumbourou said that in Mandurah the figure was even higher.

The City of Mandurah has launched its youth alcohol strategy on the back of the survey findings.

As the chief of non-profit Communities That Care, Mr Toumbourou said they were trying to bring evidence-based support to communities around the country, including Mandurah.

“The evidence is very clear - in communities where underage youth find it difficult to obtain alcohol, there is less youth alcohol use and fewer alcohol related injuries, assaults and deaths,” Mr Toumbourou said.

“Communities with less youth alcohol use also have higher rates of school completion”

Mr Toumbourou said he was pleased to see the Mandurah council undertaking this initiative.

At the strategy launch he announced that Communities That Care will provide funding to support the project and ensure it is seen through.