Janet, despite all your talk about “race based ideologies,” and …

Comment on Council should not be in government’s pocket, says mayoral candidate Brown by Russell Guy.

Janet, despite all your talk about “race based ideologies,” and restrictions on takeaway alcohol being “discriminatory,” Steve revealed a woeful lack of understanding of local Aboriginal cultures by advocating a “National Aboriginal Culture Centre” (NAAC)in Alice Springs. Despite his often claimed Territorian background, some of us are stunned by that one. It let the cat out of the bag.
Your defence that an NACC would be a tourist attraction is like much of your stated ‘policy’ to date – simplistic, positive spin. It’ll be a white elephant – a fitting monument to the Brown ticket and associated with a culture destroyed by alcohol.
The Montreal Gazette (13/2/12) ran the headline ‘Australia’s Constitution permits discrimination, marginalises Aborigines.’ I asked you about this in an earlier post, but you, who admits to knowing the Constitution “very well” didn’t answer those questions.
There’s a couple of reasonable questions waiting at the Alex Nelson post for you as candidates for public office, but if you candidly answered then, your alcohol-related policies would be revealed as not having been thought through.
The only culture you appear to have on offer is the grog culture. It’s “More of the same – vote Brown!” For a woman with a “strong Christian faith,” your alcohol-related policy is irresponsible, especially in relation to children. I submit that there’s a link between vandalism, violence, youth frustration and take-away alcohol – 70% of alcohol sold in the NT is takeaway (NTG media release 31/3/12) – but it’s vote Brown for the Clampdown!
More of policies such as yours will continue to push people into the Emergency Department, filling the cells, courts, hospitals and prisons. Territorians pay $4197 per person, per annum at present for the privilege of supporting your vision. I won’t bore you with the “idiotic” stats, but if you’d like them, please ask.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Council should not be in government’s pocket, says mayoral candidate Brown
Now, Steve. According to Janet, the rules of the game are that you are not supposed to be negative.

Council should not be in government’s pocket, says mayoral candidate Brown
Steve, the irony of you pressuring government for a “National Aboriginal Culture Centre” here in Alice after all your and Janet’s criticism of people involving themselves in “race based ideologies,” is amazing. You exclude and include at the same time, another amazing feat of logic.
I think you are both missing a point that I make about alcohol-restrictions, but this is the first time that I’ve seen the word “National” introduced to the idea of an Aboriginal Culture Centre here in Alice. As you would hopefully know, this is Arrente traditional country and for you to announce that a “National Aboriginal Culture Centre'” could and should exist without getting permission from the Arrente is politically incorrect. Would they, not trying to be “us and them” here, Janet, want a National Culture Center or an Arrente Culture Centre of possible a Central Australian Culture Centre? Maybe we should find out. Maybe they’re not interested in being asked, or perhaps not used to it? After all, it’s a crazy town. I think Hal Duell got it right when he called it a Cultural Theme Park. We could have a giant stubbie, just like the giant prawn at Ballina. We haven’t got anything like that yet, which is another amazing fact.
Getting back to alcohol-restrictions and your and Janet’s obsession with them being “discriminatory, race-based ideology”, the point I make is that liberal licensing laws discriminate against the children, both living and unborn, of and also against the alcoholics. That’s backed by statistics compiled by health professionals at a Territory, State and Federal level, but you consider them all idiotic propaganda.
However, I think your comments about rehabilitation are what most of us are also saying, so we have that, at least, in common. It’s just a difference of opinion in how we move towards restoring some semblance of sanity, but I shouldn’t use that word because it’s subjective and maybe I’m still not living in the “real world” that Janet was on about.
Can all the scientists be wrong – in every state – about everything to do with alcohol abuse and you and Janet right? Well, as Janet says, nothing is impossible, but I do have eyes and I see kids with their Dads in jail for the third time for DUI in this culture of alcohol which is pretty much the national pastime and pursuit of profit and pleasure, often at the misfortune of those less important than me, as Janet likes to have it. I actually think those kids are more important than me and I try to buy them books and even got a quote on a bike because alcohol addiction takes away the discretionary income from their parents.
I hope to publish some more of these statistics in the near future, fully referenced, just for your amusement if need be, but hopefully for broader minded citizens who, themselves, are suffering from a glut of grog in their own lives and may want help of some or any sort to get some control back into it. I drank for 43 years, so I have some idea of what I’m talking about, but I digress.

As for your comments about those of us who would like the NTG or even the Feds to introduce takeaway alcohol restrictions as they did in Tennant Creek in the late 1990’s when I was living and working there with Thirsty Thursday – it probably doesn’t interest you if I told you of three case histories, all of which were dear indigenous friends and how they lost their young lives to alcohol-related injury.

As for your comments about statistics being a propaganda beat-up, that’s just another of your amazing statements. I can’t believe that you and Janet can keep trotting out opinionated, unsubstantiated, amazing statements, but I don’t know everything, so please continue, because I’m in awe of what’s coming next.

Council should not be in government’s pocket, says mayoral candidate Brown
Thanks, Janet. But you and Steve didn’t answer my last question about why you thought an Aboriginal Culture Centre was a “fantastic idea” when you considered it so five years ago. I asked you a reasonable question, i.e., why didn’t you do anything about it?
It’s reasonable to ask questions of someone standing for public office. You continue to try and blindside these questions by accusing people of ranting. Let’s see if Steve can answer the questions I’ve put as he did with Hal Duell.

Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Alcohol floor price may breach Australian Constitution
The fact that no action is being taken by the Winemakers Federation, preferring instead to work with the NT Government; that there have been no casks larger than two litres in the NT for several years and in Alice Springs for several more, because they are banned, we should be encouraged by their example, along with other retailers who have shown similar intent.
Tourist tipple and alcohol problems in the NT are interrelated. In a recent post, I pointed out the illogic of sacrificing current levels of visible alcohol-related harm to the tourist economy, which will only cause further decline.
The Mandatory Treatment Act (2013), since repealed, highlighted how harmful and disempowering alcohol restrictions can be, particularly where Indigenous communities have not been involved in their development.
While Steve Brown appears to consider it a “do gooder” issue and appeals for ice containment, he ignores the need for alcohol supply restriction in the general community, a product, it could be argued, of laissez faire capitalism over 50 years, culminating in corner stores trading in takeaway alcohol seven days a week.
Mr Brown compounds his approach by wishing that crystal methamphetamine (ice) was not a problem, allegedly within Indigenous communities.
It would be better if he, and others of a similar opinion, evinced the same desire for alcohol management through community coalitions backed by government regulation or government‐initiated community partnerships, which according to a recent article in the Australian and New Zealand Public Health Journal, “have been successful in harnessing local knowledge and Indigenous social systems to curb the unintended impacts of alcohol regulation”.
The article revealed that improved health and social outcomes, for example, by tethering demand reduction programs to supply restrictions had been achieved.
Outrage over the disempowerment of Grey Nomads to purchase a cask of cheap wine, while the harmful use of alcohol among Territorians continues at levels in excess of the national average, ignores the possibility of a community-led solution, even when governments repeal poorly consulted legislation such as the MTA.
In the mid-1980s, Territorians died from being stabbed by glass flagons. Casks were introduced by governments working with the winemakers and less harm eventuated.
It didn’t curtail harmful levels of consumption, nor the granting of takeaway licenses, but the NT Government, acting on recommendations from Justice Riley’s Report, is facing up to the cost of those unacceptable levels and investigating ways of working with the underlying cultural problems.
Learning from history on which evidence-based legislation like soft packaging and a demand reduction floor price is based seems more appropriate than sticking one’s head in the sand.

Ice Age in Alice
Four balls coming back over the net. Policy on the run.
@ Local 1: Comparing Queensland with the NT is apples and oranges. Been crossing the border all my life, not just for a week.
@ Steve Brown: I want to see evidence for your claims, not just anecdotal. Been there.
@ John Bell: Commonsense has been missing in action and @ Paul Parker, same thing.
Tolerance, common sense and reason were the founding values of the European Enlightenment. Not going well.
Finally, to all, I speak for myself, not for PAAC, whose evidence-based campaign assisted the NT Government in micro-managing the issue of liberal alcohol supply with a floor price. The claim that it makes all alcohol more expensive is incorrect.

Ice Age in Alice
The floor price is not a “silver bullet.”
There is none. There are only a suite of measures to reduce levels of supply, including the BDR.
A floor price targets the cheapest alcohol sold, mostly cask wine, consumed by the most desperate addicts, including pregnant women.
Canada and Scotland have a floor price.
It was introduced this week in the NT after a long evidence-based campaign.
Cynicism is an easy choice, but I’ve been involved in reducing alcohol-related harm in the NT since 1986 when I produced four songs with Indigenous band, Coloured Stone for the NT Road Safety Board.
If you allow yourself to get cynical and negative about drugs, of which alcohol is one of the most prevalent, then you might as well accept the carnage as inevitable.
Take the opposition over the recent Master’s Games request by the police for light and midstrength beer.
One of your readers posted anonymously, calling those who lobby to turn the tap down a “mob” who are only interested in prohibition. That’s hysteria.
The NT Government is currently looking into the seven days a week take away grog licensing regime.
Australia has a culture of alcoholism, particularly around sport.
Changing that culture, currently costing NT taxpayers $640m p.a. is a positive step towards putting money into ice rehab.

Apex Club ‘fenced out’ of running Masters Games bars
@ “Ray”. My argument for turning the tap down (not off, as you insinuate with your anonymous post), exposes your confusion, but it clarifies one point.
It will be hypocritical for you to point to the Indigenous as being responsible for the town’s social problems again.
While you busy yourself over being “the laughing stock of the country”, the hospital and police records continue to speak for themselves and show no sign of abating, due to what is a culture of alcoholism.
It was the police who requested light and midstrength beer be served at this sporting event.
As an attendee at last Friday’s National Police Remembrance Day, the names of those officers who were killed in the line of duty was sobering, yet they who we appoint to serve and protect are fobbed off.
Justifying the capitulation on the economy and giving back to the “community” is evidence of your confusion, but as cultural tourism is the vogue, it will be interesting to see how long before you start referring to “the section of the community that has the issue” again.

Apex Club ‘fenced out’ of running Masters Games bars
Why such despondency, “Ray”?
The streets of Alice Springs are paved with gold if you have eyes to see.
They need not be awash with the consequences of alcoholism.
Turn the tap down (not off) and you will see how a great town can come back from fifty years of an uncapped flow.

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