“I am very pleased to see the ridiculous law of …

Comment on OUR REST & REFLECTION SERIES: Alice has magic but house prices and crime need a firm hand by Russell Guy.

“I am very pleased to see the ridiculous law of identification to purchase liquor has been removed by the new Government.”
Jan Heaslip’s comment needs to be seen in light of Bob Beadman’s article. It is well worth re-reading.
Despite the government reports that he compiled on alcohol “the drink of mass destruction” abuse, foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and the social breakdown of the grandparent generation among Indigenous people, the message is not getting through to Territorians, least of all, the new NT government (see MP Adam Giles’ story).
Having to show ID at a take-away alcohol outlet is a small inconvenience with a huge social dividend. Mr Beadman says that unless these matters are actioned, they will “destroy” the NT and send it bankrupt.
It is unbelievable that anyone who has lived in the NT for decades can not see the harm that current alcohol supply has done in lives lost and to the economy.
Trying to improve education and job training while the alcohol tap is left running at full bore is naive.
In relation to her patronage of St Phillip’s, Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association and FASD, Jan Heaslip’s comment is difficult to understand.

Russell Guy Also Commented

OUR REST & REFLECTION SERIES: Alice has magic but house prices and crime need a firm hand
If our police didn’t have to spend so much time “losing control of our streets” by policing alcohol misuse, they might be in a much better mood.
Likewise, if the current NTG brought in a take-away free alcohol sales day, it would show some sympathy for our police.
It would be effectively hitting two birds with one stone, but it seems that the NTG’s understanding of “effective” is to keep the police on the grog beat, rather than apply any number of evidence based AND PROVEN supply reduction instruments.
It is only a matter of time before their liberal free market ideology is proven ineffective at enormous cost to the “poor pensioner” whose cheap tipple is perceived as sacrosanct.
I wouldn’t give two-bob for the economic management of the current NTG and here we go again with the Mall re-development, trying to plaster some astro-turf over the Ford Plaza.
They wasted a few million of our taxes dismantling the BDR and replaced it with highly-paid executives. Re-read the Bob Beadman story and you’ll find that he’s already done some of the math.
In light of all this, what are we to make of the Chief Minister’s Productivity Commission?
All for the sake of people being able to drink alcohol seven days a week, not withstanding the health costs of this perverse paradigm.


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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