Chris Carey (posted May 11, 2012 at 7:57am) puts up …

Comment on Grog stats may be useless as they do not include online and mail orders by Bob Durnan.

Chris Carey (posted May 11, 2012 at 7:57am) puts up several straw men in his cynical discussion of a “philosophical” approach to setting policy on preventing the social, legal, economic and health harms arising from excessive use of alcohol.
Chris, nobody is saying that we should adopt a floor price purely and simply because it “works”.
If you think this is the case then I suggest that you may not have been paying serious attention to the details of the arguments.
Similarly, I am not aware of anybody arguing “that if people do not accept that alcohol restrictions are justified that this means that they do not care about the issue of problem drinking or the plight of the individual problem drinker”.
Most importantly, I do not know of anybody seriously proposing that a floor price should replace the need to “deal with the [other] underlying issues.”
But what really gives away the fact that Chris is either unable or unprepared to listen is his reference to “the idea of turning off the tap” (i.e. prohibition). Nobody in the local alcohol reform movement has proposed “the idea of turning off the tap” Chris.
For several years, alcohol regulation reformers in Alice have espoused the slogan “turn down the grog tap”. It is printed on bumper stickers, fridge magnets and posters. Nowhere does it state “turn off the grog tap”.
If you can see no difference between putting a cage around the Balgo monastery and introducing a floor price Chris, then I think you may need a couple of lessons in basic logic.
However, the caged monastery approach, and those approaches advocated by Lockemup Melky, Nobble’em Neindorf, Punishem Brown and Prisoncamps Mills (not to forget Gavin “Too Cruel to Say It” Carpenter), are not so conceptually different to the Balgo solution.
It is somewhat ironic that you end your contribution with a lecture about people “not being willing to listen and learn”, when this appears to be a hallmark of your own approach.
From the evidence above, it is clear that you would much rather make assumptions, form broad generalisations and criticise people unfairly, rather than take the trouble to listen carefully and try to understand your opponents.

Bob Durnan Also Commented

Grog stats may be useless as they do not include online and mail orders
Readers interested in the debate about the appropriate regulation of alcohol may be interested in these comments by the NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione. Essentially he’s saying that cheap take-away alcohol’s easy availability is the weak link in his state’s considerable efforts to reduce the rates of alcohol-related crime, and domestic violence in particular.
See http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/police-chief-pushes-for-bottle-shop-clampdown-20120513-1yl23.html#ixzz1uo4UGw00 .
Scipione is coming from the same kind of perspective that PAAC and other local reform campaigners share: that prevention is far better than cure or punishment, and that the best compromise (in terms of minimising impacts on liberties, convenience and cost) in pursuit of prevention is to implement ways that DV and other harms can be reduced via cutting back on both supply and availability, but only so far as does not lead to too many other harms developing in the process. That is, Scipione, like us, wants to see an effective but balanced approach, suitable to the context of the problems.


Grog stats may be useless as they do not include online and mail orders
It is astonishing how an unsubstantiated rumour about massive amounts of alcoholic beverages allegedly moving surreptitiously through the parcel delivery systems of the town without the knowledge of the Licensing Commission and Justice Dept can be given so much credence. Now it has led to a series of convenient statements from the usual, mostly anonymous anti-regulation sources.
It is entirely predictable how seriously this is being taken by those with a political and ideological interest in such speculation.
Our household was for many years in a wine club, and I know of others. This is nothing new. I have no doubt that the trade could have increased over time, but not to the extent that Rex and Brendan allege, at least not without the authorities becoming aware of such.
What is more surprising is how little trust gets placed on the professional opinions and assessments of those public servants whose jobs depend on them maintaining their credibility on this type of issue.
As Erwin points out, the mail-order supplies sold by the biggest-advertising major retailers are included in the NT wholesale figures. These deliveries almost certainly account for the bulk of any alcohol sent via the post office and road couriers, and so do not undermine the credibility of other available statistics.
It appears that there is no evidence to contradict the opinions of the DoJ officials, that internet orders from interstate are a negligible part of the town’s alcohol problem.
The pallets that Brendan Heenan has heard about most likely consist mainly of the hugely increased sales of a very wide range of products now being bought over the net.
Why am I not surprised?
Perhaps PAAC’s efforts to motivate Alice Springs’ population to start thinking seriously about a logical, evidence-based approach to problem solving are beginning to hit home, and some vested interests and their friends are lashing about looking for scapegoats and diversions.


Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Gallery business case slap in the face of custodians
Wrong again Matthew Langan (Posted August 26, 2019 at 6:44 pm).
It was actually “big knob socialist flogs” from the CLP who talked up and used government funds to build the Desert Park, the Araluen Arts Centre and the Strehlow Museum.
If you have complaints about those places and their costs to the public purse, go talk to the conservatives. Nothing to do with the Labor mob.
The CLP under both Adam Giles and Gary Higgins has indicated it would also support a new National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs.


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James (Posted June 6, 2019 at 8:14 am): How many parks in Alice Springs commemorate Aboriginal leaders or dignitaries?
Nothing against Father Smith, but couldn’t we consider looking collectively at setting some priorities before rushing in to barrack for our favourite project?


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Conservative (posted May 1, 2019 at 9:19 am): what do you mean by ‘props to Erwin’? Stage ‘props’? It doesn’t make sense.


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Like InterestedDarwinObserver, I think Assistant Commissioner Beer’s claim is a somewhat questionable one.
Given that the majority of NT road deaths are normally the result of single vehicle roll-overs on remote roads, it is questionable whether more intensive traffic policing in Alice would necessarily produce this good result as claimed.
We would need a much bigger sample and more details of the individual accidents to really get an idea about what is actually going on here.


Massive horse deaths now a risk to humans
Hal, (Posted April 14, 2019 at 1:29 am): Don’t be so disingenuous. It is obvious from the article that CLC staff have been trying very hard to get permission to act.
They have now made their frustrations known to the relevant authorities, who are able to step in.
My point is that your criticism should have been aimed at those responsible (the traditional owners in question), not at the CLC as an organisation, as the staff are trying to do their job and get something done about the situation.
I was at both Mulga Bore and Angula a little over a week ago, and found very few people at Mulga, and none at Angula.
There were no dead horses that I saw, or smell of dead horses, around the houses then at either place, but there may have been some elsewhere. Of course the carcasses should be disposed of, wherever they are; that is what the writer and the CLC are trying to achieve.


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