Hello again Russell. A few points. Contributions are permitted without …

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

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.

Ray Also Commented

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


Recent Comments by Ray

Keeping youth in sight
Hi Rainer, I was going to jump straight in and have a go about the comment of youth yearning to be “heard, seen and acknowledged by adults”. I heard this on the radio and was pretty amused, so I jumped on the site and actually read your article first before flying off the handle. Also my respect for your dad and your youth means I will try and keep things toned down.
Most adults over the age of 40 were probably raised at the tail end of the era where the mantra of kids being seen and not heard was true. Basically that meant that people with life experience made the decisions, and until you lived a little you need to listen and learn before having the right to have an opinion. This was true in all civilisations and cultures, where kids sat at tribal meetings, and listened to the elders, and did not have any input.
We have come a long way since then and kids really do have a chance to be heard, but like most things in an ordered society, there are ways and means of doing these things. They will not have the respect of adults until they earn it it. They cannot change the natural order of things just because they want it changed.
They want respect? Get them to school, get them working part time jobs at Maccas or IGA or KFC. The biggest problem is not that the employer will not give them a chance, but family and peers who accuse them of being coconuts and trying to be like a white fella, that’s what we need to change.
They will get respect from adults when you can drive down Gap Road without them pretending to jump out in front of a car and trying to intimidate people. They will get respect when they go to school instead of calling into your office with energy to burn. They cannot and will not get any respect by essentially saying we do what we do because we just want you to respect us, that’s like a rapist saying he just wanted to be loved.
All the while our nightlife is dying because Alice residents live in fear of going out at night in case their car is rocked, or their house broken into by these kids when they are out. The same kids you speak to are the same ones that cause these issues, and the resentment towards them is justified because while they expect us to listen to them, they never listen to us. They steal our kids’ bikes that we work hard for, they egg our houses because we work hard for the nice things we have, they terrify the tourists who are the lifeblood of this town.
Your idea of a skate park near the CBD is great, and would be ideal along the banks of the Todd river, which is an under-utilised asset we have. The area between the Todd Tavern and the bridge would be ideal, and if it flooded, a skate park would just need to be hosed out after the water levels dropped. It could be floodlit and landscaped and yes, it would be a beautiful area for workers in the town to rest whilst enjoying their lunch break.
But these kids think it is fun to intimidate people. Unless that changes, it is hard to see the full potential and funding to achieve that vision ever being realised.
When these kids come streaming into your office, do you offer to assist them into getting into and staying in school? Could there be funding for homework centres for these kids to go to? Could your office be relocated to the entrance to the new skatepark where kids could be fed at night and a cafe set up where these bored kids could be taught how to run a canteen and have pride in their own place?
This could all be done in return for respecting the community, after all the money that is spent on any new skatepark will come from the adults who pay council rates. Respect is a two way street. Unfortunately this is unlikely as the sorts of kids we are dealing with do not like a presciptve form of entertainment. Anything that is too organised they rebel against, hence the game of getting chased by coppers is more valued by them than any sort of skatepark. Keep up the good writing.


Government backflips on alcohol floor price: Lambley
Just looked at the number of 24hr bottle shops in Melbourne from as far north as Preston and south to St Kilda. There are 11.
Not counting 24 hour operators, there are over 170 in a similar area.
In Alice Springs, there are 10, although AA is actually listed as a takeaway bottle shop, so lets say 9. There is also home delivery of alcohol in Melbourne, so every house virtually has a bottle shop if they have a telephone.
Yet despite these figures, we are the ones with a sheer number of takeaway alcohol? I don’t think it is the number of outlets we have, nor is it the opening hours.
Maybe it is something else?


National Aboriginal Art Gallery: Anzac Oval off the table
As I have said for a while now, why not the desert Knowlege Precinct.
It’s an Aboriginal centric facility south of The Gap, plenty of land and parking.
Across the road from Yirara College. The Longreach Hall of Fame is about the same distance out of town. It works well.


Private chats with govt heavy: mixed results
Jimmy, you were elected to represent ratepayers, not the Aranda voices.
Simply represent the people who elected you, and most of those voices as quite clear on they want.
Voices of the Aranda should have no bearing on you performing your role, which is represent the ratepayers of Alice springs, not be a hand winging apologist.


‘Bully method’ to swing Town Council vote on gallery
Good, scrap the bloody thing then.
I would rather loose a project like this than lose ANZAC Oval and be walked over by any government. Hopefully the councillors will all decline the invitation to meet with him unless it is a collective. He has no authority at all over the people we voted in.
Let him have his say in council, in public, at a regular meeting.


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