I’ll try and spell it out for you, Rex. Sealing …

Comment on LETTER: Time for a third sealed national route by Russell Guy.

I’ll try and spell it out for you, Rex. Sealing the Plenty, plus building at least two bridges on the NT side will cost X# of million dollars, but you’ve not been able to grasp the expense of liberal alcohol supply policy on the Australian community, which has already increased with the NT CL government, e.g, burning the $2.5m that taxpayers contributed to the dismantled Banned Drinkers Register (WA now wants it). That’s not including the uncosted proposed rehab prison farms or the cost of factoring in the ongoing recidivist stats … blah, blah, blah … you sound more like Steve Brown every day.
We’ve tried everything in the past forty years except turning down the tap. How long and how many more millions of dollars will be wasted on alcohol abuse – or do you think Treasury is a bottomless pit to be propped up by the mining industry, while being siphoned off by the alcohol industry? This is not a rhetorical question.

Russell Guy Also Commented

LETTER: Time for a third sealed national route
Erwin,
Thanks for inviting the Mayor to give us the benefit of his trip to Boulia and any insight he may have regarding this blacktop adventure. I have not changed my thinking (as posted several times here) and continue to be concerned that Australians can allow alcohol abuse through liberal supply to the tune of $36b p.a. while crying out for more Federal funds to help them live the lifestyle of their choice. Ready when you are, Mr Mayor.


LETTER: Time for a third sealed national route
Rex @ September 6, 12:37AM. The mind-numbing collection of cliches you’ve dredged up to support this “marvelous project” is, quite frankly, a fantasia, e.g., “major national development”, “strategic rail corridors” (at what price, short of smelting Pilbara ore locally and linking into the Ghan?)
Study the history of Australian rail proposals over the past century and you’ll have your eyes opened to strategic rail corridors, “a beacon for the tourist industry” and all “urgently required,” but what, exactly, do you mean by a “much needed new coach route”? Greyhound are just keeping their head above water as it is.
I don’t mean to sensationalise or be negative, but your wild exposition of Aboriginal communities taking a leap into the 21st century is a paper yabber.
If you’re so sure that a cost-benefit analysis for this project has been done over the decades it’s been flying, why hasn’t it surfaced and more especially, from Patrick Hill whose letter to the AS News floated it again so recently?


LETTER: Time for a third sealed national route
What this means is the sealing of the 800km Plenty Highway from Boulia, Qld, through to the Stuart Highway in the NT. The reasons given are to save “two days” and allow “mining” quicker export access to “keep Australia going.”
There is no talk here of leaving some bush free from the super highway traffic. It’s as if the wild bush has no value except as a transit zone. The Plenty already carries traffic ranging from beef cattle trucks, miners, locals, tourists and caravans.
I’ve been a regular user of the Plenty for 30 years. It’s graded from both ends annually, sometimes more. Increasing speed of recreational four wheel drives, with off-road campers is a hazard as people make their transit with windows up, oblivious to the wildlife and values of the bush, just getting from one end to the other as quick as they can.
I say, leave it alone. Go the Barkly if you want bitumen. It’s only another 500 kms around and it leaves some of Australia for those who don’t want the increasing madness of mining take-over of land and narrow-focussed productivity goals.


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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