Janet Brown @ November 24. “The money for nothing groups …

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

Janet Brown @ November 24. “The money for nothing groups are not there anymore to keep them drunk and dependent.” Are you referring to welfare payments for Indigenous people here?
If you are, then perhaps you should go out of town and see the lack of employment prospects. Whenever I read your posts, they seem to be focused on Alice Springs, rather than Central Australia.
When one lives and works on a community, the problems associated with and the reasons for alcohol-abuse are much more clearly seen than they are by observing people in the streets of Alice Springs.
Steve Brown constantly remarks about how informed he is by attending to housing issues around town, but he goes home each night.
Your comment about clutching at straws reveals more about your social awareness than your interpretation of higher insurance premiums related to excessive road death payouts and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, which you describe as “babies born with brain damage through cheap grog”.
Failure to understand the growth of alcohol supply, cheap or otherwise, within the Australian community over the past 20 years, both in terms of product alcohol content, manipulative marketing and licensed outlets is no excuse for your opposition to “prohibition” and support for “indendence of individuals” in choosing whether to consume alcohol or not.
As has been pointed out many times, the supply of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, etc are prohibited by law enforcement.
In the central Queensland backpacker haven of Agnes Water, the local butcher ceased trading this week and the premises are about to be occupied by the local bottle shop who are doubling in size.
This has been occurring in other Australian tourist destinations, of course, like Alice Springs (surprise) and Byron Bay. The latter recently banned Woolworths from opening their Dan Murphy liquor franchise in the CBD cinema complex with the help of the NSW Independent Liquor and Gambling Authority (IGLA).
Sort of gives your use of the word “independent” a broader meaning, don’t you think?

Russell Guy Also Commented

Is NT turning back the clock with its plans for compulsory rehab?
Janet, your understanding that communities are “dry” is abysmally ignorant of grog running or roadhouse bars in the proximinity of communties, via backroads or blacktop.
The police do their best to enforce it, but they are in agreement with restricting supply, e.g., the BDR, Thirsty Thursday or haven’t you read the Briscoe reports?
The connection between alcohol-abuse, poverty, productivity and “drinking to oblivion” (Tatz, 1978) will not be solved by simply stating that alcoholics must take responsibility.
The community needs to take responsibility for the Alcohol Industry’s leeching of taxpayer funds in the same way that the Tobacco Industry was mandated to provide health warnings on their otherwise delusionary marketing hype.
The Alcohol Industry needs to take responsibility, but we have seen that they are reluctant to do this so far. However, taxation and lobbying for reform is well underway.
In your latest post, you haven’t made comment about the increasing avenues of supply within the community, the yearly “Schoolie” deaths from binge drinking and the crack-down that is occurring, despite the appalling Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) statistics.
Byron Bay youth are running a Summer Program called “Cringe the Binge” – all of this seems to place you at odds.

Is NT turning back the clock with its plans for compulsory rehab?
In the NT, the Third Party Insurance component of annual car registration is $501. In Queensland it is $383.
The following research shows that in terms of Austrralian statistics, the “NT stands out for the high proportion of road deaths associated with alcohol consumption with 55 per cent of road deaths associated with high risk drinking (Northern Territory Department of Transport and Infrastructure 2004) – source STRONGER FUTURES ALCOHOL PROPOSALS – REGULATION IMPACT STATEMENT (NTG Dept. of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Nov. 2011).
Insurance premiums are just another indication of the need to turn the tap down, helping to prevent the highest rates of alcohol-related hospitalisations in Australia and lower costs of living in the NT.

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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