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

Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Surprised. Posted 6/2/18. 7:40AM. Re your comment about costs related to harmful levels of alcohol consumption within NT communities:
“You know, they fail to take into account that currently we pay $50m in the Territory in relation to alcohol sales in taxes. That money unfortunately goes straight to the Commonwealth so there is some arguments there how the Territory Government gets that money back” (Des Crowe, CEO. NT branch of the Australian Hotels Association. ABC 6/2/18, responding to the NT Police Association call for industry responsibility).
This appears to be a game of “pass the buck” with Liquor Inspectors and “new technology” attached to the BDR as a “way forward.”
Smoking in public places is banned and the health warnings that now appear on tobacco products have helped create a greater awareness of the issues related to the peer enforcement of smoking, but the tobacco industry didn’t go quietly.
Perhaps, the alcohol industry needs to admit responsibility and leadership by comparing the costs to public health for its products, but that would affect the corporate bottom line.
The $50m in taxes is miniscule in comparison to the billions spent on alcohol-related health issues that taxpayers subsidise on an annual basis.
That money could well be spent elsewhere.
It’s not an economic issue, but one of leadership in community values and political will.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Laurence, posted February 3, 2018. 6:17pm: Re your comment about a “radical rethink”.
Leaving aside the suite of measures so far employed to address the harmful levels of alcohol consumption in the NT and notwithstanding the absence of a floor price, there is something in what you say.
Stewardship is an old fashioned word for community values.
In the 1920s, Rev. John Flynn, who knew something about the health of people in the bush, wrote that we would have to render an account one day.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
There is a groundswell of awareness about the use of methamphetamine (Ice) at a community level throughout Australia.
Most people seem to have direct or anecdotal experience of families being tragically affected, but if it was better understood that ‘for every person who uses methamphetamine in a year there are 85 drinking alcohol;for every person addicted to methamphetamine there are 20 addicted to alcohol;for every ambulance call-out for methamphetamine problems there are 25 for alcohol;for every methamphetamine presentation to an Emergency Department there are 30 for alcohol;for every amphetamine-related death there are 65 alcohol deaths’ (source: Emeritus Professor Ian Webster, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education newsletter 2/2/18), the alcohol problem confronting communities in the NT might be considered more seriously.


THE TROLL by Blair McFarland
Thanks for this, Blair. As Monty Python would have it, say no more.


Town still upset with Stuart statue, say researchers
I’ve not come across the term “creative arts therapist” before, but as a writer, it suggests that artists and in this case, the sculptor need therapy in order to heal, not just ourselves, but the culture within which we live.
I’ve heard of cultural amnesia, but not cultural healing, although, perhaps, this is what the Reconciliation movement has been attempting and, I guess, those in the aftermath of war, once the dust clears and what’s left is assayed.
This seems to be a definition of what is meant here.
Ironically, an “appreciation of arid landscape” noted by the analysts, came about because of the Stuart Highway and without the statue which has the “town upset”, this exhibition may not have happened.
In this paradox, difference is celebrated, but given that all difference is equal, some people don’t appear to mind. Perhaps, they have cultural amnesia or some other malaise.


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