Dear Anonymous Glad to be Gone, Your comments are largely gratuitous, …

Comment on Memo Club suspends trading, goes into voluntary administration. Town & Country to close tomorrow. by Russell Guy.

Dear Anonymous Glad to be Gone,
Your comments are largely gratuitous, but in saying “I see a number of people quoting all sorts of facts and figures. These are useless if the main group does not want to help themselves,” I have to ask whether you are referring to indigenous as your main group, or the community as a whole?
If you are referring to the latter, then I agree. If you are referring to the former, and I believe you are because of your “ciggy/humbug” remark, then how can they help themselves while the two pubs are pouring take-away into their long-term addiction, seven days a week?
That this has in many tragic cases, become a demented psychosis escapes most people. One could make the same analogy with heroin. Please read my Comment piece “The Devil’s Big Day Out” for some thirty-year background on this escalating problem, exacerbated by incoming urban drift.
Your inference that the NT Government and the Feds are weak is not sustained by the Stronger Futures and Enough is Enough initiatives, both of which have great potential to impact positively on the problem of excessive alcohol supply in Alice Springs.
The Tennant Creek police put eleven people on the banned drinkers register last week. What a pity Thirsty Thursday was compromised. Alice should be able to learn from it and bring in take-away restrictions.
The Alcohol and Other Drugs Tribunal is starting up and Alcohol Management Plans are in train. The hapless law and order merchants of Alice will get a big stick from the Feds in the law and order department, if they’re determined to bring on a fight, but what a colossal no-brainer!
The Memo Club’s closure may be sheeted home to other causes, e.g. the substantial online ordering of grog from interstate and market forces, such as other clubs drawing patronage away from a crime hot-spot.
The issue of crime needs to be looked at once the excessive take-away alcohol supply is restricted. If an overlying mess is cleared away, physicians can determine which bleeders need attention and how to treat them.
In any case, failure of the community to address excessive alcohol supply has a role in the demise of the Memo and it won’t be constrained by attacking the symptoms via law and order.
It’s a tragic shame, because leaving town is not an option for most of those caught up in this vicious circle, but the moral argument is lost on those who are addicted to the same drug.
On that note, who cares if another Gin Palace or three go to the wall? The Memo Club may have supported youth sporting organizations in the past, but they’re just cultivating the grog culture and indoctrinating youth into the rituals of drunkenness. What a bunch of Philistines!
Stronger Futures is designed for the future. Scaremongering closures designed to support the need for Law and Order are just that. Bah humbug!

Russell Guy Also Commented

Memo Club suspends trading, goes into voluntary administration. Town & Country to close tomorrow.
Dear John Barnes, I’m not an advisor to any government, simply a citizen concerned with the over-representation of alcohol outlets – pubs, clubs and take-aways – that has gutted a town in which I decided to live in 1977.
Like Domenico Peocrari, I share Bob Durnan’s concerns. A boutique wine bar with gourmet tapas, though not my cup of tea, may sound like a nice attraction to the CBD next to what is more often a public courtyard grog shanty by day, but why is grog seen as sacrosanct when it comes to business survival?
The number of art galleries that have gone bust is not because of violence-related crime. They’ve shut their doors for other reasons – the GFC’s effect on discretionary income, the high $A effect on overseas visitors, surely you’d agree that this has some effect on businesses such as Town and Country and Sporties. The Memo has different reasons, many of which have been elaborated in postings at this site.
Law and order candidates’ exclusion of excessive alcohol supply as a perpetrator of crime is its own conspiracy against all the evidence presented by numerous individuals in all walks of life, before, during and after this election campaign if the community lets them get away with it at the polling booth.
Domenico’s view that tourism can be stimulated by a take-away restriction regime is only one of the real economic benefits which they are missing.

Memo Club suspends trading, goes into voluntary administration. Town & Country to close tomorrow.
Kevin, you stand afar and hurl lightning bolts like Jove, when praying to Jehovah would be more your calling.
The last thing we need is a know-it all, itinerant preacher taking up a seat in the grandstand.
If you want to front the situation in Alice, then rock-up and get your hands dirty, but consider reading related posts from the past weeks of this debate.
In your enthusiasm to direct traffic, you miss the whole point of a take-away restriction on excessive supply.

Memo Club suspends trading, goes into voluntary administration. Town & Country to close tomorrow.
Hal, I can understand you, and no doubt, many others wanting to get off the alcohol debate. It’s been with us seven days a week for so long and we’re all tired of it. Your post reinforces that fact, but it won’t go away with just one day of take-away restriction. Try three, like some others are now proposing. The alternative is not worth imagining.
Naturally occurring urban drift is exacerbated by lack of housing which is a huge issue, as in other parts of the world with the same problem. I haven’t heard any election candidate acknowledge housing, apart from John Reid who seems to be showing leadership in his policy statements around this issue.
In regard to the feral children, it’s my opinion that this can be attributed to the tragedy of alcoholism in their immediate and extended family, indeed, the disease is endemic after fifty years in Aboriginal societies. The breakdown is well documented. I’ve been saying this for weeks in these posts.
I know an Anmatjerre boy of six, who calls my name and when he sees me all he says is “book,” because I’ve given him two. His father has been absent for the past three months in prison, for alcohol-related offences.
This nice little boy lacks discipline and is distracted. I’m concerned for his schooling and future. If he were my boy, or your boy, wouldn’t you be angry about his chances under the circumstances described above?
Your comments about the Gold Coast, Sydney’s west and the Top End are well founded. Australia has an escalating excessive alcohol supply problem costing taxpayers $15billion a year (NAAA. 3/12). Add Byron Bay to your list.
I helped a friend whose business is emptying wheelie bins from holiday lettings there over Christmas. Bin after wheelie bin, seven days a week for two weeks, full of bottles of all description, beer, spirits, champagne. You would think that maybe Alice has a chance to avoid this.

Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Man in a hurry, surrounded by people who were not
It was about a quarter of a century ago – how time flies – a few years before I undertook a postgraduate Master of Social Science degree in sociology, anthropology and cross-cultural psychology (JCU, 2000), published the core of my thesis as BAPTISED AMONG CROCODILES: A History of the Daintree Aboriginal Mission 1940-1962 (Boolarong Press, Brisbane).
And it was before I did a further five years, primarily in alcohol dependency mentoring at a remote Central Australian community, this after 15 years of working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations around the country, mainly producing recordings and events for indigenous dance bands, that I thought that Alice Springs would become a kind of New York.
People from all over the US move to the Big Apple in search of greater opportunity for their dreams and aspirations and it’s no different among the Indigenous of Central Australia.
But I wonder if local town planners have factored this movement into their vision for the future?
Not so long ago, the too-often criticised police were talking about moving youth back to their communities, but the word is out that the purposelessness and abuse associated with these desert satellites is causing enough concern to render assisted passage to somewhere else.
These problems were first mooted, to my knowledge, by R M Williams in the 1930s who noted that the desert tribes were on a collision course with liberal alcohol supply.
Fast forward to the Gunner Government acting on most of the Riley Report recommendations (with the notable exception of banning Sunday takeaway).
It’s no coincidence that one of the most troubled neighbourhoods in Tennant Creek, where Sunday takeaway is currently under emergency extension, is referred to as “the Bronx.”
It’s early days in the implementation of various supply reduction measures, but 40 years of critical mass in the alcohol supply infrastructure cannot be exonerated for the Shakespearean tragedy of progressive Western values.
Beyond the alcohol plague, assuming that it will be reeled in, governments will have to give thought to how remote community families and former alcoholics will be accommodated in towns like Alice Springs, with attendant social support and employment opportunity.
The concept of safe or dry, no grog houses or Mandatory Rehabilitation Centres, will need to be extended to entire neighbourhoods, rising above the refugee or migrant settlements of yore.
This type of housing estate requires considerable financing, planning and input if it is to be built and assisted to succeed above the expectations of many of those who are complicit in causing the tragedy of lost generations and future opportunity.
It will transform the current vision of Alice Springs, but first of all, it needs to be put on the drawing board.
Ursula Le Guin, the novelist who passed away a couple of months ago, recently said: “I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope.
“We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.”
Tracker was one. Surely, we can learn from what defeated his vision or the Enlightenment has bitten the dust.

Man in a hurry, surrounded by people who were not
I spoke to Tracker a few times during the Robert Tickner period. One of his more infamous quotes was referring to Aboriginal people as a farm for whitefellers to manage and be well paid for producing the current tragedy.
Quite a few informed commentators are now talking about assisting those who want to move from remote communities into towns where employment and education opportunities either exist or could be set up to end the hopelessness and various forms of abuse that can go with a purposeless life on a remote community.
More than one is talking about overcrowded housing as a major cause of dysfunction. I’m stating the obvious.
If Alice was to be a centre for remote community refugees to retrain, restart and realise a future, who would build the houses and where would they be built?
Who would pay the electricity bills while the transition is fostered?
Would Tangentyere and other organisations be resourced to manage this situation?
Could it even be done?
Tracker seemed to think so.
The Federal Government did it to resettle migrants.
I recall Bob Beadman saying a couple of years ago that alcoholism would bankrupt the NT, or words to that affect and finally, we have a floor price, but in moving from generational alcoholism to the provision of basic housing, it appears that there are too many hard questions not being asked or acted upon.

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: it’s not over yet
@ Fiona: There’s some kind of irony in appealing for symbolic unity under an Aboriginal flag when Kittles, an Aboriginal-owned company is continuously trashed by children of Native Title holders.
It suggests that there’s some other law at work and that trying to construct a body of politically-inspired law has limited chances of changing anything.
Whilst I don’t doubt the sincerity of your attempt to unify, I make the suggestion that the practical method of law enforcement, alcohol supply reduction and housing in Alice Springs for those who may wish to leave remote communities for education and employment opportunities in town has better prospects than adding to the divisions on the hill.

Chamber of Commerce in a grog Catch 22
@ Paul Parker, posted 1st March, 2018 at 6:49am: How appropriate was ‘Sit-down money’ and the ‘Two kilometer law’, Paul?
Do you absolve the critical mass of take-away outlets in the 5km radius of the CBD as having any impact on the situation you describe?
Generational alcoholism has something to do with the present historical ennui and the police have stated that they can’t arrest their way out of it, so we’ll have to agree to disagree on failures to deal appropriately with intoxication and disturbing the peace.

Bush foods: how can wild harvesters get a piece of the pie?
Good one.

Be Sociable, Share!