Erwin, Good idea for a column! One problem with those …

Comment on What a week! by Russell Guy.

Erwin,
Good idea for a column!
One problem with those who are saying to the alcoholics, “stop blaming everyone but yourself”, is that it’s not getting through. You can’t talk to a needle or a bottle, but consider these facts from the Age (1/7/12) and by the way, welcome to Happy Hour!
As reported over the weekend, the Victorian Auditor-General found that liquor licences in Victoria have more than doubled since 1998 to 19,000 (same thing in Alice over the past forty years). Alcohol-related harm costs Victorian taxpayers $4.3billion per year (more taxes anyone?) Between 2000-01 and 2009-10, alcohol-related emergency room presentations more than tripled, hospitalisations rose by 87% and alcohol-related domestic violence doubled (Warren Snowdon said something like that about the NT earlier this year, but where is his voice in all this – won’t even engage with the AS News – pathetic for a public official).
The Victorian Department of Justice spent $67m on alcohol harm-reduction campaigns in the past four years. These efforts were “hamstrung by the powerful alcohol industry.” Does anyone remember the campaigning against the tobacco industry in the late 1970s-80s in which prices rose considerably?
Why not a floor price for alcohol? The Victorians are among the growing list of those considering it or implementing it now, while we in the NT with a staggering pathology equivocate.
The Age concluded that Australia has a “binge drinking culture which is out of control”, requiring “strong moral leadership and elctorally unpopular decisions by Government”.
So to those who blame the drunks, I say let’s get our own house in order so that we have a society that is not dictated to by the alcohol industry.

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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