Another ‘head in the sand’ denial of the economy of …

Comment on Mandatory sentencing or not, that is the question by Russell Guy.

Another ‘head in the sand’ denial of the economy of alcohol-abuse in Central Australia, while focussing on economic development issues and talking up tourism as if alcohol-abuse has no causal influence on its likely ability to drag itself out of a time-warp.
Alcohol-abuse currently costs the NT in excess of $600m p.a., but if you factor in the loss of productivity via Centrelink’s support of the free-trade alcohol supply industry, it becomes a figure that puts the Victorian alcohol-abuse figure of $4.3b p.a. in the shade.
I’m beginning to think that NT political leaders and aspirants are intellectually challenged, rather than electorally challenged on the cost of alcohol-abuse.
They seem to lack the ability to grasp alcohol management as an economic issue relating to NT prosperity, kidding themselves that it won’t continue to fester in Treasury as well as the community.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Mandatory sentencing or not, that is the question
David @ August 15. My comment is in relation to the CL alcohol policy and how it will effect many of their election promises in other portfolios. The economy of scale relating to alcohol consumption and subsequent cost to taxpayers through over-supply (a link which critics fail to understand) is not exactly “small beer.”
In relation to your comment about the NT election and the national interest, it would be great if we could send a positive message about the Aussie drinking culture spiralling out of control, but instead, we have negative consumption and abuse figures across many social indicators, specifically in violence and self-harm.
This should challenge those ideologically opposed to see the sense in NT Labor’s alcohol policy direction, but addiction works against sensible outcomes and outright rejection of evidence-based data appears to be a case of the blind leading the blind into a deepening ditch. You seem to be aware of this.


Mandatory sentencing or not, that is the question
Mandatory sentencing, mandatory rehabilitation (See CLP advertisement in today’s NT News). Terry Mills hasn’t costed his grog policy, but one thing’s certain, he intends to give the alcohol industry free rein while we taxpayers pay the costs, whether we’re responsible drinkers or tax-supported problem drinkers.
Even a Darwin Hospital surgeon connected with the Australasian Body of Surgeons recommends a floor price, restricting availability and reduced trading hours, but is Terry listening? Noooo! “The BDR’s not working.” The surgeon reckons it helps, as do the police and of course it’s not enough, but NT Labor’s moving forward on alcohol management – the CLP is going backwards while the prisons are set to overflow with their ‘tough on crime’ policy.
I’ve just come from the Alice Springs ACL webcast that lost its Darwin feed. All we got was about 60 secs of Terry saying that it was up to us to tell him what we wanted.
Unbelievable! In the McNair Anderson media ratings surveys, media managers used to rely on what people said they wanted and what happened was that the whole show got dumbed down to the populist denominator.
Give the people what they want. And charge them accordingly so that the promise of affordable housing can’t possibly be kept. Unreal! Vote for the CLP and watch how crazy it gets.


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

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.


Town still upset with Stuart statue, say researchers
I’ve not come across the term “creative arts therapist” before, but as a writer, it suggests that artists and in this case, the sculptor need therapy in order to heal, not just ourselves, but the culture within which we live.
I’ve heard of cultural amnesia, but not cultural healing, although, perhaps, this is what the Reconciliation movement has been attempting and, I guess, those in the aftermath of war, once the dust clears and what’s left is assayed.
This seems to be a definition of what is meant here.
Ironically, an “appreciation of arid landscape” noted by the analysts, came about because of the Stuart Highway and without the statue which has the “town upset”, this exhibition may not have happened.
In this paradox, difference is celebrated, but given that all difference is equal, some people don’t appear to mind. Perhaps, they have cultural amnesia or some other malaise.


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