Key stakeholders in the Centre will meet about alcohol policy
UPDATE, September 18, 7.00pm: While they are “not ruling out” the introduction of a floor price on alcohol, the Country Liberals have ”traditionally opposed it”, said a spokesperson for Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley. It will be on the table for discussion at the forthcoming meeting of stakeholders in Central Australia, as will all other aspects of alcohol policy bar the BDR.
The Alice Springs News Online put to the spokesperson that the Coroner had made a specific link between sales of alcohol and the problems it causes and suggested that a concrete measure on the supply side will need to be proposed. He said the government has concrete measures but they are not on the supply side; they are mandatory rehabilitation and prison farms.
Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley would appear to be foreshadowing the introduction of a floor price for alcohol – whether Territory-wide or in Central Australia only is not clear. She has just issued a press release, calling on Police Minister Kon Vatskalis to say “whether Labor supports a floor price on the sale of take-away alcohol – a supply side measure Labor previously opposed when in Government”.
Mrs Lambley also said: “As recommended by the Coroner, the Mills Government will initiate as soon as practicable a meeting of key stakeholders in Central Australia”. At this meeting “all aspects of alcohol policy will be up for discussion”, she said, but the “Banned Drinker Register will not be re-introduced because it simply did not work”.
Strangely, the Minister also describes Mr Vatskalis’ admission that there is a requirement for cultural change within the Territory police force as “hypocritical and insulting”. Chief Minister Terry Mills only yesterday laboured the point about a need for cultural change within the force. – Kieran Finnane