Just because one is considered to be “a responsible drinker” …

Comment on Council poll: Law & order candidates and alcohol restriction opponents top councillor poll, could threaten Mayor by Russell Guy.

Just because one is considered to be “a responsible drinker” doesn’t mean that they’re not an alcoholic. In fact, many reading this would agree. I know such people and was one myself.
An interpretation of early voting trends in the Alice Council elections is that those who supported law and order, anti-current and future restrictions on the seven days per week supply of alcohol, were not likely to give up their addiction so that the community could address the situation with a sober mind.
More especially when “responsbible” alcohol consumption exists at all levels of our community – in church elders, councillors, political leaders, Mums, Dads, business and binge drinkers of all ages.
Recent conservatively estimated claims that Australians face an escalating $15billion p.a. cost of alcohol abuse, are evidence that alcoholism is entrenched at epidemic levels, but the NT is way out in front of the national average.
However, if a conservative government in the UK can introduce a floor price, there’s hope that Australia might wake up to itself and applaud such initiatives of good governance.
Prime Minister David Cameron, has said that the United Kingdom couldn’t go on like this. One day, sufficient Australians may come to the same realisation and demand the same. Perhaps.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Council poll: Law & order candidates and alcohol restriction opponents top councillor poll, could threaten Mayor
To clarify my comments about those whom I said come from all levels of society and suffer from alcoholism in Alice Springs, it’s no shame to be addicted to this disease which is endemic to our society. There is help available in this community, many of whom do care and acknowledging that you have this addiction and need help is, of course, the classic AA approach to healing.
The shame is that this town is living in denial that it has a serious alcohol problem, statistically recognised as twice the national average, yet it was barely considered an issue by candidates representing the people in the local government election.
Despite having so many alcohol outlets, universally recognised means of avoiding the problems that Alice has with related crime and health issues are cause for such divided opinion.
Organisations like PAAC are lambasted, when they should be applauded for trying to bring some order into an alcohol-fuelled chaos that operates seven days a week.
It’s not as if they’re commentating from a vacuum as more than a few of their members are dealing with the fall-out on a daily basis in their professional lives as am I. Others castigate the NT Liquor Commission for being “weak.” Some say reinstate the “Living With Alcohol” program, but avoid the issue of restricting the excessive supply. Meanwhile, those who attempt to placate their addiction in public are considered to be a problem, rather than a victim.
My point is that my friend who is a church elder and an alcoholic is not alone in his struggle, but I know his despair is more keenly felt because this wide-spread insidious evil is considered normal.
The ASTC candidates who said “show me a solution,” or “I need to be persuaded” and worse, those who see no need for further restriction on a seven day per week supply schedule, leaving many voters confused, have been diminished by one independent candidate whose How to Vote card showed a last minute change by stating that he was prepared to take a tough stance on alcohol if elected. He won’t be, but he’s a hero in my eyes.


Council poll: Law & order candidates and alcohol restriction opponents top councillor poll, could threaten Mayor
My sincere apologies to Steve Brown for attributing the post that I responded to below as his.
While the AS News has a policy on recommending full names, I’ve said it to you before Anonymous Steve, get out your driver’s licence, if you have one, or some other form of identity and have the courage to declare your citizenship.
You may take the post attributed to Mr Brown as inferring that you lack moral courage on several counts.


Council poll: Law & order candidates and alcohol restriction opponents top councillor poll, could threaten Mayor
There’s a case for the blind leading the blind, Steve and I’m not the first to make it.
A reasonable person wouldn’t see my comments as “lashing out.” David Cameron has said, government “is not always about doing what is popular, but what is right.” With the same kinds of problems, you are unable to make that distinction.
I merely present a case, whereas you overstate yours. Totalitarian dictators suffer the same affliction and from that basis, it will be interesting to observe your performance in the chamber, should you make it.
British PM, David Cameron has used an evidence based platform to back his courageous stance against enslaving legislation and intends to amend it. The trade in human souls was handled the same way, thanks largely, to Wilbur Wilbeforce in the British Parliament, repealing or reforming legislation which was perceived to be working against the inclusion of humanity.
I know a church elder in this town who is an alcoholic, not that it gives me any greater claim to social skill than you, but it does reveal you as a man who thinks only he knows this town.
On March 16 @ 6.08pm, you wrote, “there are few if any that have my overall broad brush of experience, practical expertise, history of association and general knowledge of Alice Springs, what makes it tick, and more importantly what could make it tick a lot better.”
Obviously, a man so poorly acquainted with statistics, is making such a claim in ignorance of who constitutes “the few”. Not that I expect this to make any restraining impression, but I’m not fooled by your mandate.
As a conservative politician, David Cameron has at least seen the light in reducing alcohol-related crime by further restriction, not just by law and order.


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Cops nab alleged grog runners
@ Evelynne Roullet. Posted June 16th at 4: 37PM.
You acknowledge the connection between why so many kids are on the street and turning the tap down, but I wasn’t just referring to the meeting that you attended.
The philosophy behind the proposed THIS WAY youth centre, outlined in several posts, has made no mention of reducing the alcohol supply to the parents and families of these kids, despite my comment at the time that there is a connection.
As Rainer Chlanda has mentioned in his latest contribution to this debate, there were conflicting views at the meeting.
I don’t know if alcohol was mentioned, because I was unable to attend, but it seems to me that the philosophy so far espoused requires more input and that is why I have written about the harmful levels of consumption still practised and the liberal supply of alcohol still available in Alice Springs.
Surely, enabling the kids to return to a safe home, if they have one, in which alcohol dependency is mediated by turning the tap down, should be part of the equation.
You imply that it would have been off-subject and boycotted.
The continuing head in the sand denial of liberal supply is counter-productive to solving youth issues in a family-related way.
There needs to be a continuing debate about the flow of alcohol in town.
If you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.
The NT has the highest rate of alcohol consumption per capita than any other state in Australia.
The Gunner Government has begun the reform.
My point is that it needs to go further and that community action, such as the meeting set up by the organisers of THIS WAY, should publically declare direction for government reform.
No Sunday take-away would be a useful place to turn the tap down for the many reasons enumerated over many years, not least the huge saving to government and a more co-ordinated approach recommended by Rainer Chlanda.


Cops nab alleged grog runners
@ Ted Egan. Posted June 15 at 11:19am:
I think you know the answer to that one, Ted.
Since 1986 when Justice Muirhead proposed that glass flagons be withdrawn, due to their being a lethal weapon in alcohol-related fights, the packaging has changed and we have plastic bottles.
In the apocalyptic world of a shrill society that is being destroyed by the commercialisation of alcohol, there are proposed variations to takeaway supply for Tennant Creek and the Barkly: 4-7 for Tennant Creeks and the wider Barkly 12-7 Monday to Saturday. No Sunday trading.
The Licensing Commission proposes that the sale of the following products will be limited to no more than one of the following per person per day:
• 18 cans or stubbies of light beer (not more than 2.7% alcohol by volume); or
• 12 cans or stubbies of mid-strength beer (not more than 3.5% alcohol by volume); or
• 6 cans or stubbies of cider or full strength beer; or
• 6 cans or bottles of Ready to Drink mixes; or
• One bottle of fortified wine; or
• One bottle of green ginger wine; or
• Two x 750 ml bottles of wine; or
• One 750 ml bottle of spirits, unless one such bottle has been purchased in the past 24 hours.
Any person of age who is not on the Banned Drinkers Register can purchase that amount of grog six days a week.
A similar situation exists in Alice Springs seven days a week, with a floor price of $1.50 per standard drink.
The Gunner Government was looking at buying back takeaway alcohol licences from the critical mass of outlets in the Alice Springs CBD, but I’ve not heard any success of late.
At least it reveals an admission that the policy of the past fifty years of liberal supply has been disastrous.
I knew two young Aboriginal men, among others, Colin Proud and Ivan Dixon when I worked at CAAMA in the early 80s whose lives were destroyed by alcohol.
There have been thousands since.
Colin was a teetotaller, but the destruction of his world was too much to bear. Ivan passed away, also in his 30s, from cirrhosis of the liver. They would have been in their 60s now and good friends, I’m sure.
The sale of grog by Aboriginal-owned outlets and secondary supply by Aboriginal people is a fact of life.
The latter is vice, the former is unfortunate. The net result is the same.
It would still destroy people like Colin who lost hope in the apocalyptic world of a shrill society.
We haven’t come a long way from the Yuendemu flagon wagon. The government drives it around the track while people look on like a sport in the colosseum.
They probably think it’s politically naive to do much more or maybe, given the consultation over the Art Gallery, it’s what the people want.
The proposal for a 24/7 Youth Centre has no mention of turning the tap down.
The Gunner Government rejected limiting seven days a week takeaway in the NT as recommended by Justice Riley, but maybe we should be encouraged that they have proposed no Sunday in the Barkly and reinstated the BDR. It seems to have bipartisan support.
Perhaps, Colin may have been encouraged and gone on the BDR.


Cemeteries could be turned into parks
I endorse Domenico and Hal’s comments below, although a lot of epitaphs on sandstone are being erased by time and wind.
Some are evidence of a more Christian society one hundred years ago, others are philosophical.
It’s interesting and reflective to wander through the older section of our cemeteries; to maintain, rather than deny present and future generations of historians.


‘Reduce chaos: police needed at all liquor outlets’
@ Travis, posted May 27th at 7:37pm.
You deserve some kind of an answer, Travis.
I can feel your anger and I can understand how you might see the alcohol restrictions as “pointing the finger at black people,” but maybe it might save some lives.
To answer some of your questions, the tap is being turned down in some states, e.g. WA, NSW and Queensland, to my knowledge.
The coward punch comes to mind and winding back on serving some drinks late at night, but to return to the NT and your question about where the “so-called leaders” were after the legal right to drink alcohol was conferred on Indigenous people fifty years ago.
Very serious mistakes were made by NT Governments during that time. Allowing the density of takeaway alcohol outlets to build up in the Alice Springs CBD and making it available seven days a week, including at roadhouses, made a lot of money, but it has devastated Indigenous people.
Why this is so is not as simple as people taking responsibility for their drinking as you say “when it was all starting to go the way it is now”.
I have my own reasons, brought about by decades of living and working with blackfellas, side by side, making many friends and learning more than I contributed.
It would be easy for me to give up coming to this site and just go away somewhere to the east, where the living is easy, but my spirit might wander.
You would think that the so-called leaders would do more to turn down the tap on takeaway alcohol they have, which is patchy.
I don’t know why they don’t get the connection to culture. Hope it helps to know that there are some of us who understand the way you feel.


‘Reduce chaos: police needed at all liquor outlets’
@ Alice Local. Posted, 26th May.
The ABC (16/5/18) reported that there has been a “drop in family violence” under the present alcohol restrictions which include Sunday-free takeaway sales in Tennant Creek.
“Police and support agencies believe the restrictions are behind a sharp decrease in domestic violence incidents in the outback town.”
This would appear to contradict your statement about the effects of further alcohol restrictions in Alice Springs leading to an increase in criminal activity.


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