Steve (@Posted March 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm): There are good …

Comment on The Devil’s Big Day Out by Bob Durnan.

Steve (@Posted March 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm):
There are good arguments against your assumption that “the takeaway free days concept … is only a bandage for the problem of alcoholism.”
Takeaway alcohol-free days would have the triple advantage that (i) they would reduce the strength and dominance of the full force gale of grog culture, by providing a period of relief in which other ways of spending time (e.g. by working) or just enjoying daily life could be demonstrated to children and youth, thus countering the “normalising” effect of the uninhibited grog culture; (ii) they would provide respite for the drinkers’ dependents and associates, and a window of opportunity for the services which are trying to assist the drinker and/or the dependents and associates – for example, schools, health services, alcohol treatment services, training agencies, job service networks, employers; and (iii) they would provide respite for other parties: police could get on with other work, businesses could relax a bit, tourists could more easily enjoy the ambience of the town in the desert.
Three days a week takeaway alcohol-free wouldn’t bother a lot of people, and would greatly benefit many. The Licensing Commission could oversee it, to ensure no bright sparks and opportunists in the private club scene contrived to undermine its intent. A twelve month trial, with a rigorous evaluation, would be a good taster. Despite being undermined towards its end point by changed welfare payment days and unrestricted sales of cheap wines through private clubs, the success for several years of a single day takeaway restriction in Tennant Creek from 1996-2006 showed how beneficial days free from takeaway alcohol can be. Just ask the police who worked there during that period.
People would still be able to drink in all the “on licence” venues, in moderation and under the supervision of the licensee, at virtually any hour they wished, and consumers would quickly adjust to doing their grog shopping for take-away alcohol on the days on which it would still be sold, or continue to order online interstate as many are currently doing. It would not solve all problems, but it would help pave the way for solving some of them, and would help the town as a whole.

Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Youth crisis: broken window of tolerance
A very clear and intelligent presentation of key facts concerning the situations of many of the young people who run wild in our streets at night, Rainer. I hope many Alice residents take the time to read it properly.
I particularly appreciated the clarity of your reference to the role that entry to the police and justice system (and later imprisonment) plays in the formation of the identities of many of these kids (to quote: “Especially for young people who are easily impressionable and grappling with a sense of who they are, the mere experience of imprisonment entrenches their identity as a criminal and further orientates them to recidivism.”)
If only more people realised the importance of this insight, and appreciated the folly of failing to respond sensibly and intelligently to this key contradiction.

Seniors concessions praised, but questions about tiers
Fascinating to hear that seniors who were grandfathered will keep their concessions and receive $500.
Would be even more interesting to know what that means.
Exactly what did the grandfathers do to the seniors? Care to tell us, Sue Shearer?

Bottle shop cops ‘security guards, paid for by the taxpayer’
Neither Paul McCue nor James Smerk understands the role of the police at the TBLs / POSIs outside the takeaway grog outlets.
They are not there for the purpose of policing the outlets, nor for the purpose of proving security for the benefit of the outlets and their customers, although they do some of that incidentally in the course of their main duties.
The reason that police are there is to prevent the trafficking of alcohol by people who have no legitimate place to drink it, and who are intending to drink it in places where it is illegal to do so, such as Aboriginal lands where communities have asked the Liquor Commission to declare areas dry, or town camp leases which the Federal government has declared dry for the wellbeing of vulnerable residents.
These are the sole reasons that police are stationed outside the off-licence liquor outlets.

Booze report: What the government is likely to do.
In response to R Henry on Oct 20th, on who gets the extra markup money?
There is very little brand loyalty to the cheap brands of Chardonnay amongst our dedicated alcohol-drinking punters: They are after the cheapest hit of alcohol for their buck, regardless of its host liquid, not for their next taste of the rank Calabrian / Bortoli products.
Since the vast majority of shoppers generally shift their choice to better value for money when confronted with higher prices (and this happened when Clare Martin knocked the cheapest wines and sherries off the shelves in October 2006: there was a massive shift to beer), there is unlikely to be very much windfall profits via extra markup.
To the extent that there are any windfalls, they are unlikely to be anywhere near commensurate with the decrease in profits that are likely to occur because of the overall impacts of a number of the proposed reforms.
To see if I am correct, keep your ears open for the sounds of the interstate alcohol industry cartels – manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and their paid public relations reps squealing about the alleged injustice, unfairness and unworkability of these visionary evidence-based reforms.
It is going to be an interesting war, and the outcome will decide whether the NT has any future worth speaking about.

Elferink and Gooda clash over underage marriage
Peter, Posted June 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm: some young girls may resist promised marriage more strongly these days, but I doubt whether some are in a position to do so.
It has been authoritatively reported by youth workers in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the last few years that rape of young women is rife in these towns.

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