Readers interested in the debate about the appropriate regulation of …

Comment on Grog stats may be useless as they do not include online and mail orders by Bob Durnan.

Readers interested in the debate about the appropriate regulation of alcohol may be interested in these comments by the NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione. Essentially he’s saying that cheap take-away alcohol’s easy availability is the weak link in his state’s considerable efforts to reduce the rates of alcohol-related crime, and domestic violence in particular.
See http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/police-chief-pushes-for-bottle-shop-clampdown-20120513-1yl23.html#ixzz1uo4UGw00 .
Scipione is coming from the same kind of perspective that PAAC and other local reform campaigners share: that prevention is far better than cure or punishment, and that the best compromise (in terms of minimising impacts on liberties, convenience and cost) in pursuit of prevention is to implement ways that DV and other harms can be reduced via cutting back on both supply and availability, but only so far as does not lead to too many other harms developing in the process. That is, Scipione, like us, wants to see an effective but balanced approach, suitable to the context of the problems.

Bob Durnan Also Commented

Grog stats may be useless as they do not include online and mail orders
Chris Carey (posted May 11, 2012 at 7:57am) puts up several straw men in his cynical discussion of a “philosophical” approach to setting policy on preventing the social, legal, economic and health harms arising from excessive use of alcohol.
Chris, nobody is saying that we should adopt a floor price purely and simply because it “works”.
If you think this is the case then I suggest that you may not have been paying serious attention to the details of the arguments.
Similarly, I am not aware of anybody arguing “that if people do not accept that alcohol restrictions are justified that this means that they do not care about the issue of problem drinking or the plight of the individual problem drinker”.
Most importantly, I do not know of anybody seriously proposing that a floor price should replace the need to “deal with the [other] underlying issues.”
But what really gives away the fact that Chris is either unable or unprepared to listen is his reference to “the idea of turning off the tap” (i.e. prohibition). Nobody in the local alcohol reform movement has proposed “the idea of turning off the tap” Chris.
For several years, alcohol regulation reformers in Alice have espoused the slogan “turn down the grog tap”. It is printed on bumper stickers, fridge magnets and posters. Nowhere does it state “turn off the grog tap”.
If you can see no difference between putting a cage around the Balgo monastery and introducing a floor price Chris, then I think you may need a couple of lessons in basic logic.
However, the caged monastery approach, and those approaches advocated by Lockemup Melky, Nobble’em Neindorf, Punishem Brown and Prisoncamps Mills (not to forget Gavin “Too Cruel to Say It” Carpenter), are not so conceptually different to the Balgo solution.
It is somewhat ironic that you end your contribution with a lecture about people “not being willing to listen and learn”, when this appears to be a hallmark of your own approach.
From the evidence above, it is clear that you would much rather make assumptions, form broad generalisations and criticise people unfairly, rather than take the trouble to listen carefully and try to understand your opponents.


Grog stats may be useless as they do not include online and mail orders
It is astonishing how an unsubstantiated rumour about massive amounts of alcoholic beverages allegedly moving surreptitiously through the parcel delivery systems of the town without the knowledge of the Licensing Commission and Justice Dept can be given so much credence. Now it has led to a series of convenient statements from the usual, mostly anonymous anti-regulation sources.
It is entirely predictable how seriously this is being taken by those with a political and ideological interest in such speculation.
Our household was for many years in a wine club, and I know of others. This is nothing new. I have no doubt that the trade could have increased over time, but not to the extent that Rex and Brendan allege, at least not without the authorities becoming aware of such.
What is more surprising is how little trust gets placed on the professional opinions and assessments of those public servants whose jobs depend on them maintaining their credibility on this type of issue.
As Erwin points out, the mail-order supplies sold by the biggest-advertising major retailers are included in the NT wholesale figures. These deliveries almost certainly account for the bulk of any alcohol sent via the post office and road couriers, and so do not undermine the credibility of other available statistics.
It appears that there is no evidence to contradict the opinions of the DoJ officials, that internet orders from interstate are a negligible part of the town’s alcohol problem.
The pallets that Brendan Heenan has heard about most likely consist mainly of the hugely increased sales of a very wide range of products now being bought over the net.
Why am I not surprised?
Perhaps PAAC’s efforts to motivate Alice Springs’ population to start thinking seriously about a logical, evidence-based approach to problem solving are beginning to hit home, and some vested interests and their friends are lashing about looking for scapegoats and diversions.


Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Seniors concessions praised, but questions about tiers
Fascinating to hear that seniors who were grandfathered will keep their concessions and receive $500.
Would be even more interesting to know what that means.
Exactly what did the grandfathers do to the seniors? Care to tell us, Sue Shearer?


Bottle shop cops ‘security guards, paid for by the taxpayer’
Neither Paul McCue nor James Smerk understands the role of the police at the TBLs / POSIs outside the takeaway grog outlets.
They are not there for the purpose of policing the outlets, nor for the purpose of proving security for the benefit of the outlets and their customers, although they do some of that incidentally in the course of their main duties.
The reason that police are there is to prevent the trafficking of alcohol by people who have no legitimate place to drink it, and who are intending to drink it in places where it is illegal to do so, such as Aboriginal lands where communities have asked the Liquor Commission to declare areas dry, or town camp leases which the Federal government has declared dry for the wellbeing of vulnerable residents.
These are the sole reasons that police are stationed outside the off-licence liquor outlets.


Booze report: What the government is likely to do.
In response to R Henry on Oct 20th, on who gets the extra markup money?
There is very little brand loyalty to the cheap brands of Chardonnay amongst our dedicated alcohol-drinking punters: They are after the cheapest hit of alcohol for their buck, regardless of its host liquid, not for their next taste of the rank Calabrian / Bortoli products.
Since the vast majority of shoppers generally shift their choice to better value for money when confronted with higher prices (and this happened when Clare Martin knocked the cheapest wines and sherries off the shelves in October 2006: there was a massive shift to beer), there is unlikely to be very much windfall profits via extra markup.
To the extent that there are any windfalls, they are unlikely to be anywhere near commensurate with the decrease in profits that are likely to occur because of the overall impacts of a number of the proposed reforms.
To see if I am correct, keep your ears open for the sounds of the interstate alcohol industry cartels – manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and their paid public relations reps squealing about the alleged injustice, unfairness and unworkability of these visionary evidence-based reforms.
It is going to be an interesting war, and the outcome will decide whether the NT has any future worth speaking about.


Elferink and Gooda clash over underage marriage
Peter, Posted June 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm: some young girls may resist promised marriage more strongly these days, but I doubt whether some are in a position to do so.
It has been authoritatively reported by youth workers in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the last few years that rape of young women is rife in these towns.


I’m not kungka, I’m arelhe
Does anybody know if the hours when the Arrernte words teaching program is held at the Apmere angkentye-kenhe are available somewhere on the net, or anywhere else?
I thought I had seen it advertised for every Wednesday night at 6pm, but this doesn’t appear to be the case?
I have gone there at this time, found it closed, and no notice or info on the door.
Anybody wanna clarify here?


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