Ray, you’re obviously a newcomer to this debate. Welcome. …

Comment on Last meeting of 11th Council descends into chaos by Russell Guy.

Ray, you’re obviously a newcomer to this debate. Welcome.
A take-away alcohol free sales day was successfully trialled in Tennant Creek from 1995 – 2006 (Thirsty Thursday). Positive results “included declines in alcohol sales, alcohol-related harm and alcohol-related offences”. The restriction also appeared to have a high level of community support.
There was a 7.5% increase in the sale and consumption of pure alcohol when the arrangement ceased in 2006′ (PAAC Senate submission to the Stronger Futures legislation. 6/2/12).
It hasn’t been tried in Alice Springs and needs to be introduced NT-wide, providing respite for families and drinkers both in towns and in Aboriginal communities.
There would be very minimal inconvenience to the majority who are responsible drinkers, but it would help address the disadvantage and inequality that the most impoverished members of our community face. There are many reasons for this and I direct you to Deputy Mayor Liz Martin’s recent post at the “Big Ideas in Tourism” story for reference.
One of the most pressing needs for this type of restriction is that take-away is an uncontrolled supply source as opposed to a pub / club environment where drinking levels are monitored (70% of liquor sold in the NT is take-away).
Another is the economic cost of statistically proven excessive alcohol consumption to the taxpayer, past, present and future escalating (twice the national level in Alice). Further associated stats can be found by googling the Alice Springs News Online archive under “Central Australia is perishing for a drink”.
Finally, there are the 2009 results of the first ever survey of children’s development in the first years of school, the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) which reveal that two thirds of central Australian children are developmentally vulnerable in the areas of physical health, well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills (school based), communication skills and general knowledge. Aboriginal children have much higher rates.
It’s well reported that Australia is lagging in the education field and that we have challenging alcohol consumption figures, but don’t believe me, check out the AEDI statistics for yourself (Google it).
The point has been made by PAAC and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC) that disadvantage is a key factor in predisposition to “poor educational attainment, low incomes, poor life expectancy and the development of addictions including alcohol”. Familiarise yourself with some of the reason for disadvantage – they’re not all historical.
Parental alcohol addiction and child brain development are linked, both behaviourally and in Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). We’re paying for this while we support the current situation of pub take-away sales. Responsible consumption or leadership? I don’t think so.
Take-away alcohol sales free day’s will help in further reducing the supply of alcohol (a critical factor), allowing evaluation of its effect and also, at least, serving to improve the educational attainment, parental responsibility, employment opportunities and housing initiatives of government programs, for which we have voted and pay.

2PM – 9PM Mon-Fri. 10AM – 9PM Sat. 12 –PM Sun

Russell Guy Also Commented

Last meeting of 11th Council descends into chaos
John, I’ve already posted my appreciation for your stand in Council below, but I’ve been reflecting today and I’d like to add, “I wish there was more like you.”
As you may be aware through these posts, I’ve been advocating the untried, yet proven take-away alcohol sales free day/s restriction which I believe is necessary – not an option – if Alice is to have a chance of moving out of the ditch caused by statistically proven, ongoing, as yet unstoppable, excessive alcohol consumption.
The general mood among candidates for your old and noble post is that restrictions haven’t worked or that they’re “prohibition,” both illogical, given the above.
Logic and reason are subjective as the historical events to which you so admirably spoke in Council subsequently revealed, but please don’t fade away at this hour.
There is still a chance that the next generation of those most vulnerable to the effects of alcohol abuse may not have to end up in the ditch to which the majority of this generation is directing the present.


Last meeting of 11th Council descends into chaos
Well said, John.


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Cops nab alleged grog runners
@ Evelynne Roullet. Posted June 16th at 4: 37PM.
You acknowledge the connection between why so many kids are on the street and turning the tap down, but I wasn’t just referring to the meeting that you attended.
The philosophy behind the proposed THIS WAY youth centre, outlined in several posts, has made no mention of reducing the alcohol supply to the parents and families of these kids, despite my comment at the time that there is a connection.
As Rainer Chlanda has mentioned in his latest contribution to this debate, there were conflicting views at the meeting.
I don’t know if alcohol was mentioned, because I was unable to attend, but it seems to me that the philosophy so far espoused requires more input and that is why I have written about the harmful levels of consumption still practised and the liberal supply of alcohol still available in Alice Springs.
Surely, enabling the kids to return to a safe home, if they have one, in which alcohol dependency is mediated by turning the tap down, should be part of the equation.
You imply that it would have been off-subject and boycotted.
The continuing head in the sand denial of liberal supply is counter-productive to solving youth issues in a family-related way.
There needs to be a continuing debate about the flow of alcohol in town.
If you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.
The NT has the highest rate of alcohol consumption per capita than any other state in Australia.
The Gunner Government has begun the reform.
My point is that it needs to go further and that community action, such as the meeting set up by the organisers of THIS WAY, should publically declare direction for government reform.
No Sunday take-away would be a useful place to turn the tap down for the many reasons enumerated over many years, not least the huge saving to government and a more co-ordinated approach recommended by Rainer Chlanda.


Cops nab alleged grog runners
@ Ted Egan. Posted June 15 at 11:19am:
I think you know the answer to that one, Ted.
Since 1986 when Justice Muirhead proposed that glass flagons be withdrawn, due to their being a lethal weapon in alcohol-related fights, the packaging has changed and we have plastic bottles.
In the apocalyptic world of a shrill society that is being destroyed by the commercialisation of alcohol, there are proposed variations to takeaway supply for Tennant Creek and the Barkly: 4-7 for Tennant Creeks and the wider Barkly 12-7 Monday to Saturday. No Sunday trading.
The Licensing Commission proposes that the sale of the following products will be limited to no more than one of the following per person per day:
• 18 cans or stubbies of light beer (not more than 2.7% alcohol by volume); or
• 12 cans or stubbies of mid-strength beer (not more than 3.5% alcohol by volume); or
• 6 cans or stubbies of cider or full strength beer; or
• 6 cans or bottles of Ready to Drink mixes; or
• One bottle of fortified wine; or
• One bottle of green ginger wine; or
• Two x 750 ml bottles of wine; or
• One 750 ml bottle of spirits, unless one such bottle has been purchased in the past 24 hours.
Any person of age who is not on the Banned Drinkers Register can purchase that amount of grog six days a week.
A similar situation exists in Alice Springs seven days a week, with a floor price of $1.50 per standard drink.
The Gunner Government was looking at buying back takeaway alcohol licences from the critical mass of outlets in the Alice Springs CBD, but I’ve not heard any success of late.
At least it reveals an admission that the policy of the past fifty years of liberal supply has been disastrous.
I knew two young Aboriginal men, among others, Colin Proud and Ivan Dixon when I worked at CAAMA in the early 80s whose lives were destroyed by alcohol.
There have been thousands since.
Colin was a teetotaller, but the destruction of his world was too much to bear. Ivan passed away, also in his 30s, from cirrhosis of the liver. They would have been in their 60s now and good friends, I’m sure.
The sale of grog by Aboriginal-owned outlets and secondary supply by Aboriginal people is a fact of life.
The latter is vice, the former is unfortunate. The net result is the same.
It would still destroy people like Colin who lost hope in the apocalyptic world of a shrill society.
We haven’t come a long way from the Yuendemu flagon wagon. The government drives it around the track while people look on like a sport in the colosseum.
They probably think it’s politically naive to do much more or maybe, given the consultation over the Art Gallery, it’s what the people want.
The proposal for a 24/7 Youth Centre has no mention of turning the tap down.
The Gunner Government rejected limiting seven days a week takeaway in the NT as recommended by Justice Riley, but maybe we should be encouraged that they have proposed no Sunday in the Barkly and reinstated the BDR. It seems to have bipartisan support.
Perhaps, Colin may have been encouraged and gone on the BDR.


Cemeteries could be turned into parks
I endorse Domenico and Hal’s comments below, although a lot of epitaphs on sandstone are being erased by time and wind.
Some are evidence of a more Christian society one hundred years ago, others are philosophical.
It’s interesting and reflective to wander through the older section of our cemeteries; to maintain, rather than deny present and future generations of historians.


‘Reduce chaos: police needed at all liquor outlets’
@ Travis, posted May 27th at 7:37pm.
You deserve some kind of an answer, Travis.
I can feel your anger and I can understand how you might see the alcohol restrictions as “pointing the finger at black people,” but maybe it might save some lives.
To answer some of your questions, the tap is being turned down in some states, e.g. WA, NSW and Queensland, to my knowledge.
The coward punch comes to mind and winding back on serving some drinks late at night, but to return to the NT and your question about where the “so-called leaders” were after the legal right to drink alcohol was conferred on Indigenous people fifty years ago.
Very serious mistakes were made by NT Governments during that time. Allowing the density of takeaway alcohol outlets to build up in the Alice Springs CBD and making it available seven days a week, including at roadhouses, made a lot of money, but it has devastated Indigenous people.
Why this is so is not as simple as people taking responsibility for their drinking as you say “when it was all starting to go the way it is now”.
I have my own reasons, brought about by decades of living and working with blackfellas, side by side, making many friends and learning more than I contributed.
It would be easy for me to give up coming to this site and just go away somewhere to the east, where the living is easy, but my spirit might wander.
You would think that the so-called leaders would do more to turn down the tap on takeaway alcohol they have, which is patchy.
I don’t know why they don’t get the connection to culture. Hope it helps to know that there are some of us who understand the way you feel.


‘Reduce chaos: police needed at all liquor outlets’
@ Alice Local. Posted, 26th May.
The ABC (16/5/18) reported that there has been a “drop in family violence” under the present alcohol restrictions which include Sunday-free takeaway sales in Tennant Creek.
“Police and support agencies believe the restrictions are behind a sharp decrease in domestic violence incidents in the outback town.”
This would appear to contradict your statement about the effects of further alcohol restrictions in Alice Springs leading to an increase in criminal activity.


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