To repeat what I said in the first post below, …

Comment on Grog, residential land, law & order: More power to Alice under Country Liberals, says Terry Mills. by Hal Duell.

To repeat what I said in the first post below, it’s time to stop pretending. And I would include in that the pretence that there really is enough money to build a mandatory rehabilitation facility that will hold alcoholics until they are over their addiction – forever if need be. At millions to build (billions?) and more millions every year to maintain, the cost is simply prohibitive. We don’t have enough money to put the criminals in our jails, let alone the drunks.
I am not an economist, so prove me wrong on this and I may change my tune. But by my reckoning, we need to think of some other way to tackle the repetitive public drinkers, whether they are actual alcoholics or merely serial nuisances.
I think we can all agree that what we are talking and talking about is public drinkers abusing this town pretty much all day every day. Who isn’t sick of it? A floor price will raise the price of the cheapest drinks so that has to slow some of the flow. A day off is just that – a day off. In my thinking, this is more for the rest of us than it is for the grog hounds.
But what about allowing controlled drinking areas out of town, which effectively means on communities? Sorry, Bob, but I’m all for it. If you want to drink, drink. But do it standing up on your own land, not sneaking onto your neighbour’s. Isn’t this another area where we are pretending?
And Russell, closing the Northside as Jane Clark suggests will just push those drinkers into the CBD or further afield. Do it if you can – one less outlet can’t hurt. But be ready for the displacement elsewhere in town. It’s also worth answering Rex’s question. Isn’t the Northside now owned by an Aboriginal corporation? How does that work again?
I can’t help but feel that we are somehow missing the point in all this debate. I think Bob goes close when he speaks of ‘our lamentable system of socially-inappropriate welfare provisions’. Isn’t it the case that every single drunk making a mess of himself and this town in Alice Springs today is on the dole? Is that where we start? And wouldn’t that just open a whole new can of worms?
Short answer – yes, it would. So let’s do it.

Hal Duell Also Commented

Grog, residential land, law & order: More power to Alice under Country Liberals, says Terry Mills.
Some interesting points here.
1) Licensed social clubs in communities will be hugely controversial, but if they can break the current pretence of dry communities being dry only because their drinkers drift into the urban centres, why not try it? Denying people what they want at home usually means they just leave home.
2) Looking at the shires and how they work sounds like a good idea. I don’t live there, but since they first came in, I have wondered if two shires in central Australia, both stretching from WA to Qld, can ever work.
But would a Planning Commission sitting on top of the DCA simply add another layer of bureaucracy?
And what about youth diversion programs coupled with mandatory restitution by families for damage done by their under-age sons and daughters? The vandalism being done in Alice today seems to be done mostly by children.
As in talking dry while drinking wet, not paying for breakage is another example of ducking responsibility.
It’s time to stop pretending.


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.
Indigenous suggestions range from the Desert Park to the Desert Knowledge precinct.
It’s not negotiating if you reject in advance any suggestions other than your own.
And a note to council: The NT Government has clearly stated through Minister Wakefield that these discussions can be held in open. Time for you to stop hiding from us. Let’s hear what you have to say.


Locally produced hemp could replace plastic
This is a very good initiative. Congratulations to the Gunner government.
Hemp is a not only a better fibre than cotton, but growing it uses less water and fewer chemicals. What not to like?
Again, congratulations to the Gunner government.


Gunner goofs: No council ‘decisions’ on gallery site
Perhaps one of the more astonishing features of this continuing saga is the overweening arrogance of Alice’s current group of councillors.
They somehow think they have the right to dispose of our civic centre.
They forget they were elected to look after our assets, not use them as bargaining chips in some shady back-room deal.
Commercial-in-confidence is such a scam. Come on councillors – I challenge any of you to grow a pair.


Despite clear leads, no-one was punished for making this mess
It can be done. Read this.


US military base in Darwin: what risk to NT?
The Opium Wars are over. China won. And all this “containment” and forward posturing is more like dogs barking in the night while the caravan moves on.
Poor Oz! Hanging like a pendulum between London and Washington with (just) the Kiwis for company. That means Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. What can go wrong?


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