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Surgeons anaesthetise grocers' grog sales

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016 Darren Cartwright

Allowing Queensland's independent supermarkets to sell alcohol will lead to a significant increase in violence, says the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Master Grocers Australia wants independent supermarkets to be permitted to sell alcohol to compensate them for Coles and Woolworths being granted longer trading hours from December 1.

RACS spokesman Dr John Crozier says the College is against allowing any more outlets to sell alcohol in Queensland and believes it would be safer if there were actually fewer bottle shops.

"The College's position is a reduction in the number of outlets and the reduction in the hours of trade," Mr Crozier told AAP.

"We know chain outlets substantially increase the contribution to trauma risk and each additional chain outlet brings a 35 per cent increase in intentional injury."

The RACS has applauded the Queensland Labor Government for its tough stance on trading hours for licensed premises.

Under the new laws which came into effect on July 1, licensed premises can only operate until 2am, unless they are within a designated safe night precinct where last drinks are called at 3am.

The ban on the sale and supply of rapid intoxication drinks after midnight includes jelly shots, bombs and those containing more than 45 millilitres of spirits or liqueur.

Lockout laws come into effect in February.

Dr Crozier said Australia's drinking problem is cultural and, while illicit drugs receive a lot media focus, it's alcohol which fuels violence in general.

"The lawn is the alcohol, the weeds are the illicit drugs. By far the biggest cause in cost terms in incidents is the contribution of alcohol to those harms," he said.

"Some of the police data shows 70 per cent of incidents to which police are called with domestic violence as the trigger, alcohol is significant co-variable.

"It's not the cause but it is a significant co-contributor."

The Queensland Trading Hours Review is considering submissions on trading hours, which not only includes supermarkets but everything from hardware stores to car yards.

The findings are expected to be delivered to the government in December.

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