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

Preaching ‘treading carefully’ then sending in the bulldozers
“Protection of these values …” says the report in reference to the bush surrounding St Mary’s creek.
Environmental values are subservient to political ideology.
The Greens, Labor Party allies, are supposedly environmentally conservative. It used to be that conservative parties were the pariahs.
The bulldozers at Kilgariff are an expression of Terra Nullius if you like, but Australia is a modern, industrialised country now and urban Alice has an economy to grow.
Stagnation is anathema and values are inconvenient.
It would be interesting to discover who enabled the bulldozers to denude the Kilgariff landscape.
Perhaps, that scrap of knowledge may illuminate how the West was lost.


National Aboriginal gallery: Town Council’s action clear as mud
I took the Victoria Hotel tour in Goondiwindi recently, led by an eighty year old local who said that much of the old town had been knocked down by “multinationals” who didn’t care about its heritage.
“They just threw the old tin on the back of a truck and took it to the tip,” he said.
I stayed at the Victoria around 1990 as a break from the swag. It was a grand old building with a main street verandah in the Australian tradition, but fell into disrepair until a few years ago when the Council colluded with a local to bring it back.
Because of the memories, I took the tour, but the town hardly resembled the way it was 30 years ago. Kinda lost its soul. Grows cotton now for export to China mostly, where they make the clothes and ship ém back.
It’s easy to understand how multinationals and mall makers can knock heritage down, but not so easy when your own government does it.
There’s a plaque on a rock near Anzac Oval dedicated to George Wilkinson who managed Wallis Fogarty’s store in Alice in the early days.
If you look carefully, you can see lots of heritage around there.
Beats me why the NAAG can’t be build somewhere else.
The CBD is chockers as it is, whether functioning or not. This is a country town like Goondiwindi, not Las Vegas, yet.
It’s easy to lose a town’s soul, if you’re not careful.


Nanny state: Tennant alcohol restrictions for Alice?
The NT Government released a press release on September 3 announcing that it was inquiring into takeaway liquor licensing regulations in the Alice Springs region after conducting an inquiry in the Barkly.
Reducing harmful levels of alcohol consumption in the NT is not “going to send people packing”.
On the contrary, I suggest that it will increase the quality of life for everyone.
The problem is easy access to alcohol and takeaway has been the biggest culprit for decades.
There is no silver bullet: The BDR and a Floor Price are part of the goal of reducing the amount of excessive alcohol consumed and the cost to the public across many portfolios, including tourism, which suggests that a figure of 99% responsible consumers is inflated.
If 1% of the population can do so much damage, and it is a generational trauma, then the status quo needs changing.
Lulling people into complacency and allowing the alcohol industry to self-regulate while alcohol-related trauma continues is irresponsible.
A nanny state would do nothing about it.
Intervention is necessary.


SA budget allocation may put paid to Alice gallery: Higgins
@ Albert Diano: Thanks for your engagement, Albert.
I encouraged “Local Centralian” to engage with Alex Nelson’s post because Alex is making a similar point to yours.
I have made the point that nurturing and encouraging (financially) the jewels of community museums and other galleries in Alice is part of establishing a stable tourist economy, with benefits for the CBD and visitation accommodation alternatives for the growing Baby Boomer domestic market, versus the high end air fares on which the government’s proposal is based.
I suggest that more cross-engagement with thematic posting would be useful in debating the points made, with thanks to the Editor for his patronage.


Gallery: national reference group appointed
@ Local1. It’s called a thematic funding window or bucket of money in the vernacular.
In Mexico, photographic exhibitions are combined with music. How revolutionary! Should be exported to the colonies.


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