From my reading of the campaign promises and talk / …

Comment on The Devil’s Big Day Out by Hal Duell.

From my reading of the campaign promises and talk / talk, only Aaron Dick has specifically said he is in favor of closing the bottle shops on one day a week.
This puts him at the top of my list.
All the others are either opposed to an alcohol takeaway-free day, or mouthing the usual mealy-mouthed bullshit about waiting to be across the issues, or talking related nonsense about a need for evidence based approaches.
Let’s get real. The evidence is there, and the town needs a time-out at least one day a week. This would apply to everyone, and that takes away any hint of targeted demographics or outright racism.
Now there is even talk about parts of the existing town camps becoming gated communities because the residents cannot cope with the violence coming from the urban drift.
How clear do we need it?
So I appeal to all candidates: Will you please give us a break?
The Liquor Licensing Commission will listen, but only if we ask.

Hal Duell Also Commented

The Devil’s Big Day Out
@Steve
Thank you for asking.
My hopes that we can agree to close the bottle shops on one day a week come from two thoughts.
First is a belief that all of us in Alice Springs would benefit from a weekly day off, a known time-out from the unbroken access to takeaway alcohol. Put simply, we need a break. It’s exhausting putting up with the noise and cleaning up the mess every day of the week. It’s also exhausting drinking oneself into a stupor every day of the week.
Second is a belief that all of us across the Territory, and statistics bear me out although I am loath to start down that numbers road, drink too much. We live in a culture where it is accepted that it is OK and quite normal if we all go drinking any time we feel like it, including, all too often, all the time.
Put simply again, we need a break, a time to consider do we really want to do this, a chance to break a habit.
I am not advocating more than one day a week. Let’s trial a one day closure for a two year period and see where it leads us.
Sundays make sense to me because we are already mostly closed on that day. Also, without Sunday takeaways maybe, just maybe, more kids will get to school on Monday mornings. At least it would be a chance for a change for the better on that necessary front as well.
About restrictions in general, the current lot are resented, are contributing to social tensions and distrust and are of debatable value. Mostly, they remind me of trying to mend a punctured water hose with gaffer tape in that no matter how hard or how often the hose gets wrapped to stop the leak, water always seems to seep out. We need to rethink what we have done, where we want to go and how best we can get there.
Before it was brought in I begged the Liquor Licensing Board not to bring in the Dry Town legislation without a guarantee that they could and would make it work. Otherwise it would become a law to be flouted by many, and that in itself would encourage disrespect for all law – an outcome I think we can see all around us today.
Alice Springs is being over-run by urban drifters who see alcohol not as a problem but as a solution. A perhaps sizable percentage of the resident population feel the same. Dealing with that goes way beyond alcohol restrictions, but closing the bottle shops on one day a week would give everyone a much needed break.


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

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Now that would have been an interesting question. Do the residents of Alice really want another art gallery? Or are we being sold a pup?


Bush community learning centre to close
“Batchelor Institute say that increased funding would be needed to run the Centre in 2018, they run similar programs in three Warlpiri communities where they are funded through royalties money.”
Sounds like a plan.


Cops with assault rifles footage six years old
I would like to thank CM Gunner for clarifying the issue of armed and masked TRG police being deployed on the streets of Alice over the coming summer. There won’t be any. Good!
The use of specialised equipment to assist operational officers is a good idea. The perpetrators of youth crime need to be identified.
But this begs the question of what will be done with these young criminals once identified? We can’t hold them in detention, we can’t hold the parents accountable, it seems we can’t do much of anything, really.
These plans are not very encouraging. I suppose they will keep the vigilantes off the streets, but will they keep the kids off them as well?
Perhaps these running-amok kids can be identified as coming from a specific community, and then the royalty payments going to their community can be sequestered until the damages done by them to the residents of Alice have been fully paid for?


Masked cops with assault rifles, but where are the parents?
So it’s come to this. A Tactical Response Group may be deployed to Alice to deal with youth crime. And we have no one but ourselves to blame.
Consider the alternatives.
The NT Police dare not intervene in youth crime for the simple reason that to so much as look sideways at a juvenile delinquent in action is accompanied with reams of paperwork and the high likelihood of a departmental inquiry and possible legal action.
The Town Council is not constituted to deal with policing matters. They can and do host meetings to try to reach a community consensus on what to do about children “getting ready for the summer crime spree,” but internal divisions and differing agendas make theirs a fractured voice.
And while the larger Indigenous organisations often voice their concerns, whatever they may be doing has clearly not worked in past years, and there is little to suggest that this summer will be any different.
And so now we may be seeing armed and (I assume) masked men (and women?) patrolling our streets, not to deal with organised criminals or national or international terrorists, but to deal with children. How inept are we?


Council not keen on offer of help to fight crime
One objection to Mr Alice’s comments as reported above would be that rather than a need to clean up our town to make it safe for tourists, we need to clean up our town to make it safe for residents. Accomplish that, and tourist safety will not be an issue.
Yes, there is a need to make parents accountable for their underage children, to address our irresponsible consumption of alcohol, and so much else. And perhaps chief among the “so much else” is a need to really look at what the rampaging kids are showing us.
And what might that be? I suggest that within these “gangs” that we are reading about, and no matter how fleeting and unarticulated, there will be hierarchy, loyalty and discipline.
Can we possibly provide that within a whole-of-town context, instead of a three hour talk fest going nowhere and beset with a confused hierarchy, split loyalty and little discipline?
The kids are showing us what is needed. Start there.


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