Steve (@Posted March 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm): There are good …

Comment on The Devil’s Big Day Out by Bob Durnan.

Steve (@Posted March 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm):
There are good arguments against your assumption that “the takeaway free days concept … is only a bandage for the problem of alcoholism.”
Takeaway alcohol-free days would have the triple advantage that (i) they would reduce the strength and dominance of the full force gale of grog culture, by providing a period of relief in which other ways of spending time (e.g. by working) or just enjoying daily life could be demonstrated to children and youth, thus countering the “normalising” effect of the uninhibited grog culture; (ii) they would provide respite for the drinkers’ dependents and associates, and a window of opportunity for the services which are trying to assist the drinker and/or the dependents and associates – for example, schools, health services, alcohol treatment services, training agencies, job service networks, employers; and (iii) they would provide respite for other parties: police could get on with other work, businesses could relax a bit, tourists could more easily enjoy the ambience of the town in the desert.
Three days a week takeaway alcohol-free wouldn’t bother a lot of people, and would greatly benefit many. The Licensing Commission could oversee it, to ensure no bright sparks and opportunists in the private club scene contrived to undermine its intent. A twelve month trial, with a rigorous evaluation, would be a good taster. Despite being undermined towards its end point by changed welfare payment days and unrestricted sales of cheap wines through private clubs, the success for several years of a single day takeaway restriction in Tennant Creek from 1996-2006 showed how beneficial days free from takeaway alcohol can be. Just ask the police who worked there during that period.
People would still be able to drink in all the “on licence” venues, in moderation and under the supervision of the licensee, at virtually any hour they wished, and consumers would quickly adjust to doing their grog shopping for take-away alcohol on the days on which it would still be sold, or continue to order online interstate as many are currently doing. It would not solve all problems, but it would help pave the way for solving some of them, and would help the town as a whole.

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