Steve Brown, just off the top of my weary head, …

Comment on Convincing win for Country Liberals: ALP likely to lose its only seat in The Centre by Russell Guy.

Steve Brown, just off the top of my weary head, there were 2500 problem drinkers on the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR), installed at a cost of approx $1m for six months and about to be dismantled by the CL govt.
Of that 2500, white and black, I personally know that some voluntarily placed themselves on it as a measure of controlling their own alcoholism.
It empowered them and gave them another reason to get off the stuff. The BDR sent a positive message to some that their daily request and in some cases, humbug, for a six pack (out bush) was a result of their alcoholic condition. This also sent a positive message.
The fact that take-away is available seven days per week does not. As the West Australians have said, a multiple approach to this monster is needed. The BDR was supported by NT police.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Convincing win for Country Liberals: ALP likely to lose its only seat in The Centre
Janet@August 28. I always enjoy spending time in the “wilderness,” even though I know you’re referring to a place that exists in the mind of someone who prefers to ignore the reality of the facts relating to public health and alcohol.
This is particularly curious when you can Google an increasing assemblage condemning the liberalisation of alcohol which is what your post seems to support.
In fairness to police, ambo’s, doctors, other utilities, etc, and those families unfortunately victimised, we may ask why Australian governments have not acted on the evidence, while three-quarters of all Australians believe that Australia has a problem with alcohol (source supplied below). That statistic would place you in the “wilderness.”
The evidence – that liquor outlets spawn violence, that responsible service of alcohol exists in name only and that one in three motor vehicle accidents involves excess alcohol – has been there for years.
Public health advocates are not anti-alcohol, just anti-alcohol industry profits at a $36m p.a. expense to the Australian taxpaying community, not to mention the human cost.
The source for evidence presented here can be found at and if you check it out you might like to sign the petition. It requires a couple of hundred more signatures before presentation to parliament, asking that our government mandate pregnancy health warnings on alcohol products because the industry has failed to do so.

Convincing win for Country Liberals: ALP likely to lose its only seat in The Centre
Steve Brown@August 26. First out of the box crowing about a “new hope another chance” is the man who persists in referring to those whose social policies he dislikes as the “loopy left.”
Those of us who have laboured for decades to build organisations in Alice and in many other places throughout the Territory, which Mr Brown now takes for granted, are the recipients of this sinister epithet. If I thought that Mr Brown originated it, I would be more concerned, but he is a relative innocent.
Mr Brown “can’t wait to get on with” whatever it is he has in mind in terms of social policy for the sadly neglected town of Alice Springs, but in terms of alcohol policy which I have fought to reform, this quote from the recently published history of the Elliott district, by respected historians Peter and Sheila Forrest, is worthy of respect.
“Since the walk offs from the stations, no black or white leader has been able to suggest where the next step in the walk should be headed. It is a terrible, tragic and too hard conundrum” (2011: 146).
We have been promised a removal of the Berrimah line by the Chief Minister who posed for the Sunday Territorian with a beer in his hand. It remains to be seen if the CL will pursue the alcohol policy it wheeled out so late in the campaign and for which taxpayer costings have not been fully realised nor presented.
It’s my hope that Mr Mills will confer with Bess Price and Alison Anderson before building his mandatory rehab facilities and criminalising drunkenness, perhaps even following similar excessive drinking cultures whose governments are considering a floor price. A new hope and a new chance.

Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Man in a hurry, surrounded by people who were not
It was about a quarter of a century ago – how time flies – a few years before I undertook a postgraduate Master of Social Science degree in sociology, anthropology and cross-cultural psychology (JCU, 2000), published the core of my thesis as BAPTISED AMONG CROCODILES: A History of the Daintree Aboriginal Mission 1940-1962 (Boolarong Press, Brisbane).
And it was before I did a further five years, primarily in alcohol dependency mentoring at a remote Central Australian community, this after 15 years of working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations around the country, mainly producing recordings and events for indigenous dance bands, that I thought that Alice Springs would become a kind of New York.
People from all over the US move to the Big Apple in search of greater opportunity for their dreams and aspirations and it’s no different among the Indigenous of Central Australia.
But I wonder if local town planners have factored this movement into their vision for the future?
Not so long ago, the too-often criticised police were talking about moving youth back to their communities, but the word is out that the purposelessness and abuse associated with these desert satellites is causing enough concern to render assisted passage to somewhere else.
These problems were first mooted, to my knowledge, by R M Williams in the 1930s who noted that the desert tribes were on a collision course with liberal alcohol supply.
Fast forward to the Gunner Government acting on most of the Riley Report recommendations (with the notable exception of banning Sunday takeaway).
It’s no coincidence that one of the most troubled neighbourhoods in Tennant Creek, where Sunday takeaway is currently under emergency extension, is referred to as “the Bronx.”
It’s early days in the implementation of various supply reduction measures, but 40 years of critical mass in the alcohol supply infrastructure cannot be exonerated for the Shakespearean tragedy of progressive Western values.
Beyond the alcohol plague, assuming that it will be reeled in, governments will have to give thought to how remote community families and former alcoholics will be accommodated in towns like Alice Springs, with attendant social support and employment opportunity.
The concept of safe or dry, no grog houses or Mandatory Rehabilitation Centres, will need to be extended to entire neighbourhoods, rising above the refugee or migrant settlements of yore.
This type of housing estate requires considerable financing, planning and input if it is to be built and assisted to succeed above the expectations of many of those who are complicit in causing the tragedy of lost generations and future opportunity.
It will transform the current vision of Alice Springs, but first of all, it needs to be put on the drawing board.
Ursula Le Guin, the novelist who passed away a couple of months ago, recently said: “I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope.
“We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.”
Tracker was one. Surely, we can learn from what defeated his vision or the Enlightenment has bitten the dust.

Man in a hurry, surrounded by people who were not
I spoke to Tracker a few times during the Robert Tickner period. One of his more infamous quotes was referring to Aboriginal people as a farm for whitefellers to manage and be well paid for producing the current tragedy.
Quite a few informed commentators are now talking about assisting those who want to move from remote communities into towns where employment and education opportunities either exist or could be set up to end the hopelessness and various forms of abuse that can go with a purposeless life on a remote community.
More than one is talking about overcrowded housing as a major cause of dysfunction. I’m stating the obvious.
If Alice was to be a centre for remote community refugees to retrain, restart and realise a future, who would build the houses and where would they be built?
Who would pay the electricity bills while the transition is fostered?
Would Tangentyere and other organisations be resourced to manage this situation?
Could it even be done?
Tracker seemed to think so.
The Federal Government did it to resettle migrants.
I recall Bob Beadman saying a couple of years ago that alcoholism would bankrupt the NT, or words to that affect and finally, we have a floor price, but in moving from generational alcoholism to the provision of basic housing, it appears that there are too many hard questions not being asked or acted upon.

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: it’s not over yet
@ Fiona: There’s some kind of irony in appealing for symbolic unity under an Aboriginal flag when Kittles, an Aboriginal-owned company is continuously trashed by children of Native Title holders.
It suggests that there’s some other law at work and that trying to construct a body of politically-inspired law has limited chances of changing anything.
Whilst I don’t doubt the sincerity of your attempt to unify, I make the suggestion that the practical method of law enforcement, alcohol supply reduction and housing in Alice Springs for those who may wish to leave remote communities for education and employment opportunities in town has better prospects than adding to the divisions on the hill.

Chamber of Commerce in a grog Catch 22
@ Paul Parker, posted 1st March, 2018 at 6:49am: How appropriate was ‘Sit-down money’ and the ‘Two kilometer law’, Paul?
Do you absolve the critical mass of take-away outlets in the 5km radius of the CBD as having any impact on the situation you describe?
Generational alcoholism has something to do with the present historical ennui and the police have stated that they can’t arrest their way out of it, so we’ll have to agree to disagree on failures to deal appropriately with intoxication and disturbing the peace.

Bush foods: how can wild harvesters get a piece of the pie?
Good one.

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