According to state government figures, a startling 27.1% of Central Queenslanders drink at levels affecting their long-term health.
That figure places the region as the third highest in Queensland and is just one of the motives behind a new program, Act on Alcohol.
Next month, the Central Highlands Regional Council will bring this state-wide initiative to Blackwater and Emerald.
The new service, launched by drug and alcohol support organisation Lives Lived Well, offers a range of advice, support and tools to help communities tackle alcohol-related issues head on.
Program coordinators work with residents to help them understand local needs and issues, link with other key stakeholders in their community and find and implement local-level solutions.
‘There are lots of things we can do to reduce the impact of alcohol in our community, but we need to work together and we need to take action,’ Cr Maguire said.
‘While there’s nothing wrong with choosing to have a drink, it does come with responsibilities. Alcohol can affect our behaviour, our health and our relationships. Just recently we saw Cole Miller, a bright young man, lose his life because of a cowardly, drunken act. We don’t want to see the same thing happen here.’
Cr Maguire urged residents to get behind the initiative and take part in the free program, which will be held at the McIndoe Function Centre in Emerald from 6.00 pm on Tuesday 16 February 2016 and at the Community Centre in Blackwater from 10.30 am on Wednesday 17 February 2016.
For more information or to RSVP please email Sally Atkinson or call 4980 5555.
You can also visit the Act on Alcohol website.