Unity is a big word, when you have a town …

Comment on Fireworks expected over Deputy Mayor position by Russell Guy.

Unity is a big word, when you have a town divided over how to deal with its twice national average alcohol consumption. Unity, in these circumstances, is like that word “icon” – a meaningless thing, turfed out by a paradigm shift in modern values. Community? What is that in Alice Springs these days?
If what Brendan Heenan says is true about online ordering of interstate alcohol being “tonnes of the stuff, everyday” arriving in Alice, then Alice could very well be three times the national average grog consumption. Now, that’s a figure to be proud of, Brendan! However, it’s only an anecdotal statement, at this stage.
What it suggests is that those who are ordering, need a credit card, a computer / and or telephone. These do not fit the criteria of problem drinkers. It also suggests that those responsible for ordering this amount of grog are themselves hardly in a position to call the kettle black and when it comes to the $15b p.a. taxpayer funded cost of alcohol-abuse, problem drinkers themselves.
It seems that they don’t want to give up their addiction for the purposes of reducing the alcohol-related problems in the NT and rather it be “business as usual” so that tourists are not inconvenienced and locals, including their binge-drinking youth, and urban drifting blackfellas, can access grog seven days a week.
Regarding the latter, Alice Springs sets a very poor example by its seven day a week grog access and “anything goes” liberal attitude, but that gets into the moral issue and a secular State has long lost the plot on that one. Alice Springs Town Council unity, excuse me while I kiss the sky!

Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ My Opinion, posted 20.2.18. 12:22pm:
I’m an amateur historian, but there’s an argument that the geo-political climate that caused Great Britain to raise the Union Jack over what became the colonies turned out to Australia’s advantage. At least, wisdom in hindsight suggests it so.
Indigenous or First Nations people suffered beyond measure and today assert a form of sovereignty through a limited Native Title that is not altogether historically retroactive, leading to social issues bundled together under slogans such as Closing the Gap.
There is always a relative unity among all peoples constituting a nation, but what seems undeniable is that united we stand, divided we fall.
Councils around the country fly the Aboriginal flag, but not, it seems, all that often from military sites, which still serve to unite a country in a geo-political sense, most often concerned with sovereign borders.
The social problems remain, so do other strategic sites from which the Aboriginal flag can be flown as a symbol of unity within the Alice community.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Surprised. Posted 6/2/18. 7:40AM. Re your comment about costs related to harmful levels of alcohol consumption within NT communities:
“You know, they fail to take into account that currently we pay $50m in the Territory in relation to alcohol sales in taxes. That money unfortunately goes straight to the Commonwealth so there is some arguments there how the Territory Government gets that money back” (Des Crowe, CEO. NT branch of the Australian Hotels Association. ABC 6/2/18, responding to the NT Police Association call for industry responsibility).
This appears to be a game of “pass the buck” with Liquor Inspectors and “new technology” attached to the BDR as a “way forward.”
Smoking in public places is banned and the health warnings that now appear on tobacco products have helped create a greater awareness of the issues related to the peer enforcement of smoking, but the tobacco industry didn’t go quietly.
Perhaps, the alcohol industry needs to admit responsibility and leadership by comparing the costs to public health for its products, but that would affect the corporate bottom line.
The $50m in taxes is miniscule in comparison to the billions spent on alcohol-related health issues that taxpayers subsidise on an annual basis.
That money could well be spent elsewhere.
It’s not an economic issue, but one of leadership in community values and political will.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Laurence, posted February 3, 2018. 6:17pm: Re your comment about a “radical rethink”.
Leaving aside the suite of measures so far employed to address the harmful levels of alcohol consumption in the NT and notwithstanding the absence of a floor price, there is something in what you say.
Stewardship is an old fashioned word for community values.
In the 1920s, Rev. John Flynn, who knew something about the health of people in the bush, wrote that we would have to render an account one day.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
There is a groundswell of awareness about the use of methamphetamine (Ice) at a community level throughout Australia.
Most people seem to have direct or anecdotal experience of families being tragically affected, but if it was better understood that ‘for every person who uses methamphetamine in a year there are 85 drinking alcohol;for every person addicted to methamphetamine there are 20 addicted to alcohol;for every ambulance call-out for methamphetamine problems there are 25 for alcohol;for every methamphetamine presentation to an Emergency Department there are 30 for alcohol;for every amphetamine-related death there are 65 alcohol deaths’ (source: Emeritus Professor Ian Webster, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education newsletter 2/2/18), the alcohol problem confronting communities in the NT might be considered more seriously.


THE TROLL by Blair McFarland
Thanks for this, Blair. As Monty Python would have it, say no more.


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