Dear Eli, Thank you for the invitation to participate in a …

Comment on Female tourists sleeping in car alleged to have been sexually assaulted: all three suspects now charged, rifle still not recovered. by Russell Guy.

Dear Eli,
Thank you for the invitation to participate in a discussion with you about the alcohol and its effect on Alice Springs. Yes. I agree to participate.
On the subject of ‘ground rules,’ I’m in agreement with Bob Durnan (posted May 8, 2012 @ 11: 37pm). You have invited Bob and myself, but do you have any other names that you would like to invite? You have only nominated those who have contributed to this debate, so far. I presume that you mean via the Alice Springs News.
It seems to be more of a forum, rather than a debate. If that is the case, I believe that it should be open to anyone to attend, because that is what will most likely occur. We have no way of identifying who has posted, but the success of the event depends on the quality of the input, so could you clarify if you would allow questions and contributions from the floor of the meeting or how do you see it?
I have no problem with Erwin being Chair, if that seems best to you. I think it fair that all media should be invited. I would like the event to be outcome focused, i.e., taking note of where the goal posts are and attempting to kick a few, rather than going around in circles.
I agree to Erwin’s agenda and his suggested terms as protocol on which to begin as it’s clearly a ‘hot potato’ subject, but as the Police Commissioner has said “police cannot solve the acutely dysfunctional social elements in this town.” I also agree with Chief Magistrate Hilary Hannam who has noted that alcohol-abuse “is the community’s greatest concern in the NT.” The Alcohol and Other Drugs Tribunal (SMART Court) is correctly named.
I’m not sure how the ‘live streaming’ would be governed – outgoing and incoming – it may distract from the discussion, but I’m open to further comment.
I’d prefer the meeting to be in the evening, commencing at approximately 7pm, so that workers can attend. What venue do you have in mind? What date are you considering? Please post your answers.
Regards, Russell Guy.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Female tourists sleeping in car alleged to have been sexually assaulted: all three suspects now charged, rifle still not recovered.
Ray, posted May 7 at 9: 02pm.
It’s time you posted with your surname, Ray. We, who do, along with the Editor, recommend that you have the courage of your convictions and it negates confusion from other “Rays.”
The recidivist statistics, which you ridicule, are posted at the AS News SMART Court reportage. Google the archives. I doubt that you are reading the links suggested, because if you were, you’d be better informed.
Like others, you totally ignore the positives because you have an agenda, or you refuse to see the incremental gains made by the SMART Court and voluntary restrictions such as a floor price. More posts are now supporting a take-away sales restriction.
The arrival of the Police Commissioner is another positive, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the only salvation. The Law and Order approach is related to supply restriction and Rehab.
I have made reference to the bursting prison stats during the past three months of this debate.
Your comment about Aboriginal fathers “dragging” their kids to a lawyer, overlooks the verifiable fact that some of these kids you refer to haven’t got a Dad or Dad is in gaol. I know of many such cases which puts more pressure on extended family and commnunity. This is an issue that has not been disclosed by those who have made wild claims about Rehab solutions.
Your comments about taking responsibility, while correct, have been made ad nauseum. Try getting with the program and do a little reading, it may cure you of your disdain for evidence-based policy.


Female tourists sleeping in car alleged to have been sexually assaulted: all three suspects now charged, rifle still not recovered.
Ray, posted May 4 @ 4:24pm and Janet, posted May 7 @ 10: 13am.

Ray, I hope you’ve had some time to read the link I posted to the Overview of Indigenous Health 2011, published in January this year. I’ve been thinking about your use of the word “huggers”, in relation to those who show concern for problem drinkers in Alice Springs.
And Janet, I hope that you too will take the time to read that link, because it contains information on the long-term health issues endured by Indigenous people in the history of “the rules of this society”.
Both of you are dictating in terms of “go somewhere else” or learn to like Western society, justified by the right to drink alcohol and dismantling Indigenous institutions that allow for cultural difference. You want a return to the Assimilation Policy, but it’s a waste of time and taxpayers dollars.
Social inclusion is a more contemporary term. In the 1980s, it was called a Treaty, but it didn’t get very far, mainly because the dominant European society hasn’t evolved that far from the old Squattocracry. Some still want the blackfellas to go somewhere else, out of our face and out of our town, or “back to their homelands” as was recently posted. That ain’t gonna happen either.
This status quo has created some unfortunate statistics in which Indigenous have been disproportionately represented since the rule of English law arrived on our shores, but good news, the SMART Court (Alcohol and Other Drugs Tribunal or AoD) has arrived.
Part of the NT Government initiative to reform some of the carnage caused by Western-style, seven day a week take-away alcohol sales, cheap, nasty grog and early openers, the SMART Court stands for Substance Misuse Assessment and Referral for Treatment.
It allows the mainly alcohol related offenders to undertake rehabilitative programs, instead of being sent to Gaol, as would more likely happen under the Court of Summary Jurisdiction.
However, convictions including disqualification for holding a driver’s licence and community work orders are still imposed. Violent offenders are, controversially for some offenders, excluded, but include alcohol, cannabis and methamphetamine, and not all are Indigenous.
The savings to society, already evident in recidivist statistical data, includes health, policing,court and prison costs, leading to positive future benefits like full-time employment.
As the AS News has reported, only the longer term will tell to what extent the SMART Court can reduce re-offending and include rehab in the NT, but it’s a huggers court, where offenders are encouraged and rewarded for success.
It proves that the West is not intractable and that a more compassionate society can be created out of what Chief Magistrate Hilary Hannam in describing alcohol-related offences, is “the community’s greatest concern in the NT.”
[ED – Google SMART Court in the Alice Springs News Online.]


Female tourists sleeping in car alleged to have been sexually assaulted: all three suspects now charged, rifle still not recovered.
Rex and Ray, I recommend you Google the Overview of Australian Indigenous Health Status 2011, pub. 1/12 @ www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au. I’ve presented those stats several times, but if you go into the Alice Springs News archive and search under my name, you’ll see the more salient stats.
In relation to your claim that there are no stats on CONSUMPTION, the NTG (22/2/11) stated that “Territorians consume alcohol at 1.5 times the national average” and I underestimated the cost of that abuse at $642m p.a. See also PAAC release (1/4/11).


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Indigenous gallery location done and dusted, says Lambley
@ Trevor Shiell. Posted 22nd June. 4:24pm.
The Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founder’s Museum in Longreach are kilometres from the CBD, but the Town Council has had to build an additional caravan park on the river because, in peak season, the others are full.
The new dinosaur park in Winton is out of town.
Probably because they build the town in the wrong place back then.
If only they’d known.
Some people have been calling for a Town Plan in Alice for years, but have given the game away and it’s easy to see why.
Even you have expressed this Yirara idea several times.
Ever get the feeling you’re a cracked record?
Actually, ‘blessed are the cracked for they shall let in a little light.’


Pine Gap’s new role as a war fighting command centre
Redundancy in the use of GPS technology, especially in relation to aviation and weather forecasting, is vital, but who knows how many satellites there are, which ones are kaput and which are fully functional for commercial or military purposes?
So many of us take satellite-based technology for granted in our daily lives, more especially as cyber warfare, recently exposed as influencing Australian elections, becomes a hot-button issue for the democratic world.
In those terms, Pine Gap is a significant asset, although, I note that Professor Blaxland is an academic from the ANU which recently rejected a fully-funded scholarship program for studies in Western Civilisation, while hosting similar programs from Asian and Islamic sources.


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.


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