Thanks for researching the topic and writing this very timely …

Comment on Is NT turning back the clock with its plans for compulsory rehab? by Bob Durnan.

Thanks for researching the topic and writing this very timely article Kieran.
I hope your references are noted, and the studies you have cited are considered carefully by politicians and their advisors, as their decisions on these matters will affect many lives, and possibly use up a great deal of the NT’s scarce disposable funds and even scarcer time. It is way past time to act, but the actions must be based on the best evidence and thinking available.
Spending very large amounts of money just to get irritating drunks out of sight in detention for a while is not good enough. Addicts are sick people. They deserve the option of respectful, effective help, but they cannot be compelled to accept therapeutic help against their wills, or the investment in resources will be wasted.
Nor should they be deprived of their liberty, by being locked up indefinitely or periodically for only refusing to accept an offer of help, just for the sake of getting them out of sight and out of mind, when they have not actually broken any laws.
To punish them with imprisonment without adequate reason or due process would be a gross and unjustifiable breach of their civil, legal and human rights.
Having an unwanted counsellor available during their three month stay in detention, and then releasing them back into the same environment without supports, will not solve the problems or help those who suffer from alcohol addictions, but it will burn up a great deal of scarce capital and goodwill.
It would be far better to have a system that simply withdraws the privilege of access to alcohol from self-destructive drinkers for a period, combined with reasonable pressure on them to consider offers of help whilst they are banned and sober enough to make clear decisions.
The system should also include provision of high quality help to those who make the decision to accept it, and an everyday living environment that reduces the opportunities to obtain alcohol and lessens the triggers on impulses to drink it.
A floor price based on alcohol content, combined with effective enforcement of a Banned Drinkers Register supported by powers to impose Income Management for periods, would “turn down the grog tap” available to self-destructive drinkers whilst providing respite for their families and also slowing the rate of producing new addicts.
Powers to assess the causes and nature of the drinkers’ addictions and behaviours, and recommend that they consider undergoing suitable treatment would complement the turning down of the grog tap measures, providing the choice of a way out of the addiction without resorting to the shame and pain of criminalisation and imprisonment. These moves would be less costly and much more effective than the mandatory treatment option.

Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Seniors concessions praised, but questions about tiers
Fascinating to hear that seniors who were grandfathered will keep their concessions and receive $500.
Would be even more interesting to know what that means.
Exactly what did the grandfathers do to the seniors? Care to tell us, Sue Shearer?


Bottle shop cops ‘security guards, paid for by the taxpayer’
Neither Paul McCue nor James Smerk understands the role of the police at the TBLs / POSIs outside the takeaway grog outlets.
They are not there for the purpose of policing the outlets, nor for the purpose of proving security for the benefit of the outlets and their customers, although they do some of that incidentally in the course of their main duties.
The reason that police are there is to prevent the trafficking of alcohol by people who have no legitimate place to drink it, and who are intending to drink it in places where it is illegal to do so, such as Aboriginal lands where communities have asked the Liquor Commission to declare areas dry, or town camp leases which the Federal government has declared dry for the wellbeing of vulnerable residents.
These are the sole reasons that police are stationed outside the off-licence liquor outlets.


Booze report: What the government is likely to do.
In response to R Henry on Oct 20th, on who gets the extra markup money?
There is very little brand loyalty to the cheap brands of Chardonnay amongst our dedicated alcohol-drinking punters: They are after the cheapest hit of alcohol for their buck, regardless of its host liquid, not for their next taste of the rank Calabrian / Bortoli products.
Since the vast majority of shoppers generally shift their choice to better value for money when confronted with higher prices (and this happened when Clare Martin knocked the cheapest wines and sherries off the shelves in October 2006: there was a massive shift to beer), there is unlikely to be very much windfall profits via extra markup.
To the extent that there are any windfalls, they are unlikely to be anywhere near commensurate with the decrease in profits that are likely to occur because of the overall impacts of a number of the proposed reforms.
To see if I am correct, keep your ears open for the sounds of the interstate alcohol industry cartels – manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and their paid public relations reps squealing about the alleged injustice, unfairness and unworkability of these visionary evidence-based reforms.
It is going to be an interesting war, and the outcome will decide whether the NT has any future worth speaking about.


Elferink and Gooda clash over underage marriage
Peter, Posted June 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm: some young girls may resist promised marriage more strongly these days, but I doubt whether some are in a position to do so.
It has been authoritatively reported by youth workers in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the last few years that rape of young women is rife in these towns.


I’m not kungka, I’m arelhe
Does anybody know if the hours when the Arrernte words teaching program is held at the Apmere angkentye-kenhe are available somewhere on the net, or anywhere else?
I thought I had seen it advertised for every Wednesday night at 6pm, but this doesn’t appear to be the case?
I have gone there at this time, found it closed, and no notice or info on the door.
Anybody wanna clarify here?


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