Alcohol use survey plea

GUNBOWER district residents have the chance to win a $1000 travel voucher by participating in a community survey on experiences of alcohol use in the Shire of Campaspe.

The survey is part of a project being undertaken by council in partnership with community agencies and researchers, to develop ideas and deliver projects that aim to combat risky alcohol consumption in subcultures within Campaspe.

The project is made possible through a $25,000 scoping grant via the VicHealth Alcohol Culture Change initiative.

Campaspe economic and community development general manager Keith Oberin said compared with the rest of Victoria, Campaspe residents drink alcohol more frequently and at rates that are more risky.

"Campaspe has a strong drinking culture generally speaking, however, a problematic culture of alcohol consumption within particular groups has previously been identified as part of the Healthier Campaspe Project," he said.

"Organisations involved in the Healthier Campaspe Project, including representatives from the police and community health providers, prioritised alcohol consumption as having a significant negative impact on local communities in Campaspe."

"We are therefore very pleased to receive a $25,000 grant via the VicHealth Alcohol Culture Change Grants Initiative to proactively address this issue in partnership with local agencies and the broader community."

The VicHealth Alcohol Culture Change Grants Initiative provides a pool of $1.3 million to local councils to change risky drinking cultures across two stages of funding.

Campaspe is one of eight councils shortlisted as part of stage one, to develop partnerships, plan, scope and refine their ideas into a project proposal for project delivery at stage two. Up to four councils that demonstrate the greatest potential during the scoping stage may be offered subsequent funding of between $250,000 and $300,000 over two years to deliver their proposed projects.

In preparing the stage one proposal, council as project leader will be joined by research partner Melbourne University, project manager Campaspe Primary Care Partnership, and Victoria Police and Echuca Regional Health.

The Campaspe Safe Alcohol Use Survey can be completed online via council's website www.campaspe.vic.gov.au and will be open until February 28.

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