@Steve Thank you for asking. My hopes that we can agree to …

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

@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.

Hal Duell Also Commented

The Devil’s Big Day Out
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.


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Fracking OK, but under ‘strict laws’ – Gunner
From the moment Gunner failed to give an unequivocal NO to fracking during the last election, we all knew this was going to happen. It was just a matter of time.


‘Anzac Oval not for sale’: govt under pressure on gallery plans
I write this as an appeal to Chief Minister Gunner to reconsider his choice of the Anzac area as the location for the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery.
Not only did your own steering committee nominate the Desert Park as the optimal choice, but ever since your overriding of their recommendation, the wheels have been coming off what was once a project that had everyone on board.
Many in Alice recognize the heritage value of the old Anzac High School and the Anzac Oval, and while neither carries official heritage listing, I understand efforts are being made to rectify that.
Yes, it would be possible to relocate the rugby fields of Anzac Oval, but at what addition to the cost of building the proposed gallery?
I suggest the final nail in the coffin of public indifference regarding this issue was the published plans to do away with a car park that many who work in the CBD use every day.
The score so far seems to be the destruction of a still valuable building of heritage value and of an oval of similar value, the cost of a new rugby stadium and the cost of a new car park. And all that before construction on a new gallery can begin.
I ask you to please reconsider the Desert Park, as that choice would mean no valuable building to take down, and neither a new car park nor a new stadium needed. I suggest this would be a better choice both economically and politically. Not only would the project cost less, but it would not alienate any of your supporters in Alice Springs.
I will close with a cautionary note to the Gunner ALP government in Darwin: When you next come to town to consult, please don’t repeat your mistake of thinking Central Australia is fly over country.


Youth crisis: broken window of tolerance
As noted by all the comments so far, this is an excellent article, well reasoned and well presented.
But to engage with the marginalised youth in Alice in a positive manner, a venue is needed. Such a venue is at hand. The old Anzac High School would fill that bill admirably.
I hope our Town Council reads this article and carefully considers whether a MOU with Darwin concerning the proposed art gallery, which would destroy that high school building in a quest for more tourist dollars and a dubious attempt to reinvigorate the CBD, is really more important than attempting to address the very real youth social issues plaguing Alice Springs.


Private chats with govt heavy: mixed results
Jimmy, any chance you could expand on that comment for us?


Can Jacinta Price sit in Town Council and Federal Parliament?
@ Erwin: True, but here’s the thing. I have never expected Cr Price to serve out this four year term of Council. Surprise me by all means, but surprise me you will.
Am I bothered by this? If she resigns to take Yamba to Las Vegas, that would be one thing. But if she resigns to take her message of family responsibility to Canberra, that would be another.


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