IT might not come as any great surprise, but the Clarence Valley is a region of big drinkers or at least of high alcohol consumption.
And the downside is obvious from the number of incidents of alcohol-related violence and alcohol-related hospital admissions.
The Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing yesterday released figures for local government areas across the State comparing alcohol related crime and health.
The figures showed that in 2008 there were 220 alcohol related non-domestic violence offences in the Clarence Valley at a rate of 457 per 100,000 head of population. That is more than 40 per cent higher than the State average of 323 offences per 100,000 people.
In the same period there were 90 alcohol-related domestic violence cases, which is slightly higher than the State average.
On weekends we had a 33 per cent higher rate of non-domestic violence assaults compared with the State average and a slightly lower average than the State for domestic violence related assaults.
We were also above the State average for the number of assaults at licensed premises, with a rate of 116 per 100,000 people compared with the State average of 102.
In the Clarence 49.1 per cent of males were involved in 'risk drinking behaviour', compared with the State average of 37.2 per cent, and women were 0.5 per cent above the State average at 27.5 per cent.
In the Clarence people had a 'higher risk than NSW' of finding their way to hospital as a result of alcohol.