@Steve Thank you for asking. My hopes that we can agree to …

Comment on The Devil’s Big Day Out by Hal Duell.

@Steve
Thank you for asking.
My hopes that we can agree to close the bottle shops on one day a week come from two thoughts.
First is a belief that all of us in Alice Springs would benefit from a weekly day off, a known time-out from the unbroken access to takeaway alcohol. Put simply, we need a break. It’s exhausting putting up with the noise and cleaning up the mess every day of the week. It’s also exhausting drinking oneself into a stupor every day of the week.
Second is a belief that all of us across the Territory, and statistics bear me out although I am loath to start down that numbers road, drink too much. We live in a culture where it is accepted that it is OK and quite normal if we all go drinking any time we feel like it, including, all too often, all the time.
Put simply again, we need a break, a time to consider do we really want to do this, a chance to break a habit.
I am not advocating more than one day a week. Let’s trial a one day closure for a two year period and see where it leads us.
Sundays make sense to me because we are already mostly closed on that day. Also, without Sunday takeaways maybe, just maybe, more kids will get to school on Monday mornings. At least it would be a chance for a change for the better on that necessary front as well.
About restrictions in general, the current lot are resented, are contributing to social tensions and distrust and are of debatable value. Mostly, they remind me of trying to mend a punctured water hose with gaffer tape in that no matter how hard or how often the hose gets wrapped to stop the leak, water always seems to seep out. We need to rethink what we have done, where we want to go and how best we can get there.
Before it was brought in I begged the Liquor Licensing Board not to bring in the Dry Town legislation without a guarantee that they could and would make it work. Otherwise it would become a law to be flouted by many, and that in itself would encourage disrespect for all law – an outcome I think we can see all around us today.
Alice Springs is being over-run by urban drifters who see alcohol not as a problem but as a solution. A perhaps sizable percentage of the resident population feel the same. Dealing with that goes way beyond alcohol restrictions, but closing the bottle shops on one day a week would give everyone a much needed break.

Hal Duell Also Commented

The Devil’s Big Day Out
From my reading of the campaign promises and talk / talk, only Aaron Dick has specifically said he is in favor of closing the bottle shops on one day a week.
This puts him at the top of my list.
All the others are either opposed to an alcohol takeaway-free day, or mouthing the usual mealy-mouthed bullshit about waiting to be across the issues, or talking related nonsense about a need for evidence based approaches.
Let’s get real. The evidence is there, and the town needs a time-out at least one day a week. This would apply to everyone, and that takes away any hint of targeted demographics or outright racism.
Now there is even talk about parts of the existing town camps becoming gated communities because the residents cannot cope with the violence coming from the urban drift.
How clear do we need it?
So I appeal to all candidates: Will you please give us a break?
The Liquor Licensing Commission will listen, but only if we ask.


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Ministers lash out at council over gallery
I appeal to the NT government, especially to Ministers Gunner and Wakefield, to reconsider their approach to building the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs.
I doubt if many residents, and certainly not a majority, would be opposed to the gallery being built here. But why do you need to destroy what we have (an old high school, a central oval and a debt-free and functioning civic centre) to do that?
It’s not like we’re short of space down here.
It’s a bit unfair to ask council to solve your location problem when to date both of your proposals have presented it with a solution impossible to sell to the residents. And remember, councillors also face the coming elections.
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It’s not negotiating if you reject in advance any suggestions other than your own.
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