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

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.


‘Reduce chaos: police needed at all liquor outlets’
@ Travis, posted May 27th at 7:37pm.
You deserve some kind of an answer, Travis.
I can feel your anger and I can understand how you might see the alcohol restrictions as “pointing the finger at black people,” but maybe it might save some lives.
To answer some of your questions, the tap is being turned down in some states, e.g. WA, NSW and Queensland, to my knowledge.
The coward punch comes to mind and winding back on serving some drinks late at night, but to return to the NT and your question about where the “so-called leaders” were after the legal right to drink alcohol was conferred on Indigenous people fifty years ago.
Very serious mistakes were made by NT Governments during that time. Allowing the density of takeaway alcohol outlets to build up in the Alice Springs CBD and making it available seven days a week, including at roadhouses, made a lot of money, but it has devastated Indigenous people.
Why this is so is not as simple as people taking responsibility for their drinking as you say “when it was all starting to go the way it is now”.
I have my own reasons, brought about by decades of living and working with blackfellas, side by side, making many friends and learning more than I contributed.
It would be easy for me to give up coming to this site and just go away somewhere to the east, where the living is easy, but my spirit might wander.
You would think that the so-called leaders would do more to turn down the tap on takeaway alcohol they have, which is patchy.
I don’t know why they don’t get the connection to culture. Hope it helps to know that there are some of us who understand the way you feel.


‘Reduce chaos: police needed at all liquor outlets’
@ Alice Local. Posted, 26th May.
The ABC (16/5/18) reported that there has been a “drop in family violence” under the present alcohol restrictions which include Sunday-free takeaway sales in Tennant Creek.
“Police and support agencies believe the restrictions are behind a sharp decrease in domestic violence incidents in the outback town.”
This would appear to contradict your statement about the effects of further alcohol restrictions in Alice Springs leading to an increase in criminal activity.


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