I had a quick look at some of the areas …

Comment on Briscoe Inquest: reduce supply of excess alcohol from take away outlets, says Coroner by Ray.

I had a quick look at some of the areas I go on holidays or have lived, as I have never seen the problems Alice Springs has before moving here. In Bundaberg in Qld there are three BWS, two Liquorland, five Liquor King, and six independent liquor shops. There are also three taverns listed. In addition you have many, many restaurants and sporting clubs that sell take away alcohol to their members. This is all within a 30km radius, not to mention the outlying areas. Population about 80,000 plus outlying areas.
Wynnum in Qld is similar, if you include the neighboring suburb of Manly the population is about 25,000. For this many people there are 14 bottle shops alone. Add to this licenced clubs, sporting facilities, restaurants, taverns etc, and the amount of alcohol available is similar, if not more than Alice Springs. All figures are approximate, but if availability was really the issue, surely the problem would be replicated in these, and similar areas right across the country.
We have what is arguably the largest renal dialysis facility in the southern hemisphere, yet we do not hear of the rivers of sugar killing and destroying the lives of once again, a disproportionate number of Aboriginal people. It’s really easy to single out grog as the problems it creates is so visible in our community, but like sugary food and drink, it is the way in which it is consumed that causes the problems.
The Gillen Club and Eastside only supply to their members, so I do not think they are a major supplier to the habitual drunk, including Elders is also drawing a pretty long bow. Three legal outlets, The Gap, The Todd and Heavitree supply alcohol as their primary business, the same as all other bottleshops around the country.
Russell @10 talks about non-indigenous being highly represented in Darwin, 1500km away. I think you will find Russell that the representation of non-indigenous / non-aboriginal / white taken into protective custody here in Alice Springs is comparatively quite low.
Let’s not muddy the waters here, the argument is about a massive problem that a disproportionate number of Aboriginal people have with alcohol consumption. Can we please acknowledge that this is the major problem. By identifying this as the primary issue, we can direct the needed resources and formulate a plan to deal with it.
As long as we keep beating around the bush and generalising, this same sad situation will continue well into the next generation.

Ray Also Commented

Briscoe Inquest: reduce supply of excess alcohol from take away outlets, says Coroner
Hello again Russell. A few points. Contributions are permitted without surnames, I choose not to supply mine, which is my right, please do not denigrate me by saying I do not have courage.
I am offering my views in an effort to contribute to the discussion, and for reasons that matter to me, I do not wish to use my last name. It does not make my opinion any less valid. I do not agree that personal attacks or names such as loopy left, radical right help anybody.
I do not use the terms racist and paternalistic in the context that you suggest. Your comments to me suggest that any view that opposes yours must be wrong, and you lump many contributors together. Some rant and rave, but that is passion (sometimes unbridled).
I well know about the problems in Byron Bay, in Kings Cross, and even in Mitchell Street, however I was talking about our unique problems. With all the empty bottles you collected, it would have been interesting to see how many of those people were taken into protective custody, or even hospital. We need to deal with the biggest problem that is causing the most damage in our town.
Young white males getting blotto and coupling that with extreme violence is a major problem all over the country, however it is not our number one problem. Let’s target and find specific solutions to OUR problems, that is Aboriginal men such as Mr Briscoe needing to get so drunk that they need to be taken into protective custody. By the level of intoxication, he could have easily ended up as a death outside of custody.
How has this been happening for so long? I played golf this morning, mowed the yard and did some gardening, after that I bought a carton of beer and had a few while making dinner for my family. Many many people do this, as it is the responsible consumption of grog.
If we closed all bottle shops except one, those people would still get grog, and the owner of that one shop would be very very rich. This was evident during the BDR. The same drunks were still getting locked up because they could still get alcohol, either by having their kin buy it, smashing into shops, houses or other means.
My point Russell, is that for many years people have been very afraid [to say] it is a problem that primarily affects Aboriginal people.
This is evident in the facts and figures you quote. Until we are able to identify the problem, without being accused of being racist, we are fighting with our hands tied behind our backs.
I’m not interested in getting in an argument with you Russell, I enjoy reading all opinions and occasionally like to send mine. Cheers, Ray.


Recent Comments by Ray

On youth prisons: grandmothers, reformers, revolutionaries
@ Jameel: I really hope you are being sarcastic when you say “who are they?”
Do I really need to explain that “they” are the grandmothers that are calling for these young ones to go out bush, learn their ways and culture and be removed from town instead of being locked up. This used to be done in the 70s, when the young ones were going off the rails, they were sent to family on out stations, where they learnt their “cultural responsibilities”.
Unfortunately all these solutions are suggested when it is too late.
Only after the kids have robbed, stolen, destroyed, harassed, broken etc, and they have been to court, and sent to detention as a last resort to these so called concerned grandmothers shake their heads about what would be best for the kids.
Surely if they had these concerns, they would have sent the kids out bush when they first started getting into trouble.
With such a strong and close family bond, these grandmothers know what the kids are up to, and they certainly have family who live out bush who could take these kids for a while, like used to happen.
Unfortunately these family structures have broken down, and it is now easier to blame everybody else for their woes, because they can no longer control their own kids appalling behavior, lack of respect and willingness to use violence.


On youth prisons: grandmothers, reformers, revolutionaries
With 51% of the NT being Aboriginal land, why are they not doing this?


Helping offenders on probation and parole stay out of gaol
Wow, can anything be done these days without a fancy sounding acronym? It seems other programs have Frustrated All Involved Leading to Extended Discussions (FAILED), so let’s hope this is not just a load of Creative Repeating of yet Another Program (CRAP).


Police clash with protestors
He was too close to an arrest. It takes a number of officers to do this safely, to control the head of the subject, arms legs etc.
Police need to move around the subject quickly to ensure they are safe during the process. That photographer was too close and impeding the police officers movements as can be clearly seen in the video.
If you are told to move by police, you move. Simple.
It is not up to the public to question the way the coppers do their job.
In the “heat of battle” they do hard jobs that you and many others are not prepared to do. Do not judge them when they are doing their lawful duties. Back away, let them work. Simple.


Police clash with protestors
He was interfering with a police operation, he was told to move as they were trying to effect an arrest, he failed to do so, he was pushed away.
Remember Erwin, this is on Police Rememberance Day. Did you do a story about the Officers who have paid the ultimate price in the NT? Just in case you were wondering, I have found the details for all of them for you.
7 November 1883, Mounted Constable John Shirley, aged 27 years from dehydration while searching for men who had murdered a man at Lawson’s Creek.
1 August 1933, mounted constable Albert Stewart McColl was speared to death at Woodah Island in Arnhem Land.
17 August 1948, Constable Maxwell Gilbert, aged 27 years when the vehicle he was driving overturned just north of Wauchope. He was escorting a prisoner to Alice Springs.
9 June 1952, constable William Bryan Condon was shot twice after confronting a gunman.
16 June 1967, inspector Louis Hook died from extensive injuries from a rollover near Pine Creek.
9 June 1970, sergeant Colin Eckert was killed in a head-on collision in Katherine.
11 December 1981, senior constable Allen Price aged 44 years died of a heart attack while attempting to stop a disturbance in Mataranka.
29 January 1984, detective sergeant Ian Bradford died when the police vehicle he was a passenger in went over the edge of the wharf in Darwin.
3 August 1999, Brevet sergeant Glen Huitson was killed in a gun battle with bushman Rodney Ansell on the Stuart Highway.
[ED> – Hi Ray, thank you for commemorating the heroic police officers who gave their lives in the exercise of their duties. But as for today’s events – you are raising the subject: In what way was the photographer “interfering with a police operation”?]


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