Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced Monday that binge drinking which has become an "epidemic" among young Australians will be targeted by a new government strategy.
An initial 53 million dollars (49 million US) would be spent on a programme to tackle the problem, particularly in sporting organisations, he said in a statement.
Advertisement"Binge drinking imposes a huge toll on our community," Rudd said.
A survey found that in any given week, approximately 10 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds reported binge drinking or drinking at risky levels of seven or more drinks for males, and five or more for females, in one session.
A study of community football clubs showed that 13 percent of 18-20 year olds drank 13 or more standard drinks each visit -- and that 70 percent of males believed drinking was an important tradition at their club.
Describing the problem as a "binge drinking epidemic among young Australians," Rudd said the campaign would use a range of methods to tackle the problem in partnership with the community and sporting clubs.
Twenty million dollars would be spent on hard-hitting advertising confronting young people with the costs and consequences of binge drinking.
Another 19 million dollars would support early intervention programmes for people under the age of 18.
He warned that sporting groups could be stripped of public funding if they did not make an effort to curb binge drinking among their young members.
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