The NT CLP Shadow Minister for Alcohol Policy, Peter Styles, …

Comment on NT’s grog policy focus remains on public drinkers and drunk offenders by Russell Guy.

The NT CLP Shadow Minister for Alcohol Policy, Peter Styles, says that “people will still get grog even if there is a floor price as evidenced by the failure of the Government’s grog bans to stop anti-social behaviour.”
Mr Styles would be well-advised to stop playing politics, wasting lives and taxpayer’s money, and note UK PM Cameron’s comments (Guardian 23/3/12) on why his Government has decided to introduce a floor price.
What people are “entitled” to do is not necessarily the “right” thing. There are numerous examples of free-market regulation occurring in the alcohol trade, e.g. in Newcastle (Newcastle Herald 28/3/12) where a local campaigner had declared that there is such a thing as a victory for “common sense.”
Mr Styles and Ms Lawrie, the NT Minister for Alcohol Policy, have not mentioned reducing the supply of alcohol at the seven day per week take-away outlets.
Arguments for this range from freeing up police to tackle property crime and black-marketeering to attending to Mr Styles argument that people will still get alcohol despite a floor price.
Of course they will, but you have to start somewhere in what is widely recognised as a multi-pronged road to success. The West Australians are doing exactly this. It’s supply on which the Commonwealth is beginning to focus as a cost recovery and self-harm reduction measure.
This will make it harder, not more expensive, and assist in reducing the Government created dependence on alcohol. The CLP opposes free-market regulation, even though the new Alcohol Marketing Review Board has said that the alcohol industry “can’t self-regulate” which means that it’s not meeting its own standards which suggests it may be irresponsibly supplying alcohol to the community. Is that what you’re about, Mr Styles?
There are so many double standards at play here. How can an addict be accountable? Why foster addiction and then fine the victim? This is recidivist behavior by the NTG and the Opposition.
Federal Liberal front-bencher Christopher Pyne got it right. Mr Styles is out of step by claiming that the NT is somehow a different back-yard to the rest of the world when it comes to excessive alcohol consumption.
With respect, Mr Styles, your comments are those of a back-water politician rather than a progressively-oriented Shadow Minister. The NT deserves better than protecting “the bloody big drinkers” at the expense of the majority.

Russell Guy Also Commented

NT’s grog policy focus remains on public drinkers and drunk offenders
Janet Brown and her Councillor husband Steve, referred to statistical data as “idiotic” at the beginning of their Alice Springs Town Council election campaign, but weeks into it, they did an about-face and started using statistics.
Hopefully, they will have the same sensible attitude towards alcohol restrictions. Janet wants an end to all “race-based” restrictions, despite the fact that countries, cities, towns and remote communities with excessive alcohol-related violence are introducing new restriction regimes as a means of cracking down on “anti-social” problems, including self-harm and taxpayer-funded alcohol abuse, which is escalating into double-digit, billion dollar annual costs in our an increasingly drug dependent Australia.
Alice Springs has double the national average consumption figures, with 55% of NT road accidents attributed to alcohol and the the highest death and alcohol-related hospitalisation rates in Australia. The NT prison system is overcrowded to the point where police watchhouses try to accommodate the overflow and a very large proportion is due to alcohol-related offending. These are facts.
The sale of cask and fortified wines have been banned from sale in Alice Springs for six days from today in an attempt to reduce alcohol-fuelled crime, but Janet and Steve Brown are not alone in wanting an end to alcohol restrictions in Alice Springs, or, for that matter simply saying that restrictions haven’t worked when a floor price and a take-away restriction haven’t been given a chance.
The AFL and Easter Carnival restrictions deny the logic of such arguments. They, like those who continue to ask the randomly substantiated question “why should everyone be penalised for the majority?” are missing the point.
All agree that Alice has a serious problem with alcohol-abuse among adult and youth of all cultures, so there’s nothing “racist” about it. This is a spurious argument and makes no sense. In fact, one has to wonder if those who play the race card are aware that they are being racist – a word, which by definition and intent, consciously or not, is segregationist. It has no useful outcome and is socially anathema. This is a costly humanitarian issue, which needs a government intervention in order to protect its citizens from unregulated, free-market trade in excessive alcohol supply and consumption. There is nothing responsible about it.
The sly grog culture has been fostered since the 1788 Settlement of Australia, but the UK government recently announced a floor price to restrain this manipulative drug’s escalating and destructive effects on society, in a turn-around which should ring alarm bells in the land of beer o’clock.
Those who oppose attempts to do likewise in Alice Springs from an “anti-restriction” stance go against the trend to reform alcohol supply. These opponents have nothing but free market trade as an answer, but the industry can’t self-regulate, so just whom are they trying to fool? It’s been tried and it’s failing badly – look around, or listen to police road safety warnings, but still, the Rum Corps want to go back to it. This is essentially the AHA (NT) and CLP argument and apparently a large proportion, but statistically, a minority of Alice Springs voters in the Council elections.
Its been said many times that a multi-pronged approach is necessary to bring alcohol-abuse under control, which is why, in my opinion, a floor price and a take-away restriction regime should be added to the mix in an attempt to constrain a statistically-proven epidemic, undermining our society. If you think there’s a loss of liberty now, don’t apply any further restriction and see what will happen. This problem is way too big to be solved by law and order alone. Steve Brown talks about “guts,” but he has no idea what he’s talking about.
Statistics on alcohol-related death, poverty, declining productivity, and all of the above are slated to increase as Australia continues down the unregulated, unrestricted path of alcohol supply.


NT’s grog policy focus remains on public drinkers and drunk offenders
I’ve never accused you of “ranting”, Janet. There’s no need, you take the cake. You have nothing new to offer, only more of the same, but marching backwards leads to the ditch. It will be interesting to see which of your running pals will jump ship first.


NT’s grog policy focus remains on public drinkers and drunk offenders
More than a few of those who voted for the Brown team must be squirming after reading your latest series of posts, Janet.
While the nation confronts a new report on its failure to win the Drug War, your team threatens to dismantle current restrictions on alcohol. Other places with the same alcohol problems are introducing more.
The nation is going deeper into dependence on drugs, including the legal use of alcohol – a gross hypocrisy that fuels “anti-social” behaviour – and you talk about “minorities and majorities” while fixing “big picture issues.”
Steve refers to Stronger Futures as “New Futures” and you turn the English language into an Orwellian prophecy, while boasting of silencing those who disagree.
The tragedy is that your policy-driven delusions will continue to be a soft-option that contribute to unnecessary loss of life and opportunity, but you think you’re taking a tough stance.


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
@ Gavin Carpenter. Posted 21st August, 2018. 12:58PM: Yes, Tennant Creek is not Alice Springs and Nyinkka Nyunyu had staffing problems, but despite that cultural chestnut, it was case specific for the town, whereas I don’t think the current art gallery project proposed for Alice is.
Perhaps, because of its cultural and geographical uniqueness, Alice Springs is ungovernable except by a big stick and the Gunner Government feels (as did the Feds in denying them the right to legislate euthanasia) that they are on the right track with their approach.
Perhaps, they’re right.
It’s kind of weird that Nigel Scullion as Minister of Indigenous Affairs supported euthanasia, but getting back to economics, who funded Nyinkka Nyunyu and what do you mean by humungous?


Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
I remember when Nyinkka Nyunyu, the Warrumungu-owned art gallery / cafe / dancing space opened in Tennant Creek some years ago, just after I’d been living there, on and off, from the mid-80s to the mid-90s.
It was a cool place to hang out and buy art / artifacts / coffee / lunch, etc, but the non-rhetorical question I have is, how come Alice Springs doesn’t have its equivalent?
“Eugene’s Mate”, here’s an invitation to beguile us again.
And another thing, if the Gunner Government wants economic modelling, why can’t it commission figures from Nyinkka Nyunyu?
The TC building and space are adequate for the town and climate and it attracts tourist blog compliments.
There are a number of integrated community, climate-sensitive buildings in Outback small towns and centres, e.g. Muttaburra, without having an “iconic, once-in-a-lifetime” art mausoleum erected in Alice.
My third question is, how is it that Aboriginal organisations in Alice invest in supermarkets and car dealerships, yet they, to the best of my limited knowledge, haven’t said more than where they want the proposed art gallery / culture centre project(s)?
For some time, Territorians up and down the track have considered Alice to be a dysfunctional basket-case of a town.
“Once-in-a-lifetime” has just about passed its use-by-date.
Where is the vision?


Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
@ Hal Duell. Posted 20th August. 2:51am
If politics really is the art of the compromise, then you might expect some attention be paid to my post of August 17, below.
Not just because it’s mine – others have said much the same – but because it suggests that the government has the economy in mind by investing in Alice Springs’ commercial heart.
Such a Keynesian gesture must ultimately survive on market forces and this is not the Museum of Modern Art.
A compromise such as I have alluded to aims to limit considerable taxpayer exposure while creating employment opportunity. Add in Trevor Shiell’s Yirara-style hospitality / cafe arm and it’s cooking.
However, as you comment, there’s more at stake than the economy.
All I can see is another court house on Anzac Oval and not from the government that gave us the first one.
All hail confusion!


Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
The government assessed the original proposal, but didn’t act on its recommendations, so now we have another in the making.
Long-term viability, based on artworks is a risky business. Art cannot be made to serve a purpose, especially one designed by a government committee.
A compromise by blending art with a culture centre at the old Melanka site would give an architect and curatorial staff a brief that just might result in something out of the box – interesting, informative, entertaining and meeting the economic criteria.
It could involve music and theatrical performance in a multi-level, living space.
The way this predictable project is going, it will end in expensive tears.


Lambley gets hype not dollars on gallery
The Gunner Government recently stumped up for a full-page advertisement (with the ACT) demanding “rights” to legislate euthanasia, but that Bill was defeated yesterday by Senators changing their minds after consultation with the medical profession.
One wonders if the Gunner Government consulted similarly, before spending the dollars.
Maybe, like the Greens who also supported the Bill, they expected doctors to fall in line or be outed according to conscience.
Meanwhile, we read the same political pork-barrelling dished out in accusations to Jacinta Price.
At least, we have equality.


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