You are wrong, and I suspect that you know it. …

Comment on LETTER: The Banned Drinkers Register did NOT work by Hal Duell.

You are wrong, and I suspect that you know it. What I cannot fathom is why you persist in your error.
The picture of the sly grog confiscated today tells us only that there are predators among us who capitalise on the hunger of addicts.
Their presence can have nothing to do with the BDR for the simple reason that the BDR is no longer operational.
That they, or someone else with the same agenda, was operating last year at this time is to be expected. Predators in the form of sly grog merchants (drug dealers) have ever been among us.
And it was always going to be easy to point the finger at the chronic recidivists. Any piece of social engineering will not work on the edges. It’s always possible for some to find a way around, to get what they want. They are the low hanging fruit in the equation, and it does you no credit to hide behind them.
Or behind the drug dealers for that matter.
Where you are most wrong in your take on the BDR is in portraying that one initiative as the failed panacea to our ills, the non-answer to our prayers.
No supporter ever said the BDR was perfect, that it alone was all we needed. It was still a work in progress, and it was showing results.
For some alcoholics and/or binge drinkers it was helping them to not buy grog.
For some others, who had placed themselves on the list voluntarily, it was helping stop the incessant humbugging they were subjected to from their family and friends.
For both it was a refuge, an excuse to say no. Thanks to you, both now stand exposed with no shield, no help.
And the unacceptable cost to the rest of us was? A moment of inconvenience while we showed an ID!
When you took the reins from Mills I had hoped that you would take the opportunity of your new start to restart the BDR. I concede that that was a forlorn hope.
Now the ball is in your court. The thirst among some indigenous Territorians is overpowering, as is their contempt for the society they live in. In Alice our streets are under siege, as is our hospital.
Our police are stretched so thin that their phones are only just working, and sometimes not. The obvious behavioural issues are legion. Banning the BDR has not made them go away. It has not even minimised them.
You have just tossed a useful tool under our Wi-Fi equipped buses. Good luck with all that.

Hal Duell Also Commented

LETTER: The Banned Drinkers Register did NOT work
@Ray – Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:46 pm
How you sign your posts is not an issue for me. And I did not say, and didn’t mean to imply, that the senior police officer you quoted did not say what you said she did.
But I do think it’s important to get these statements on record whenever possible. I also think the view from the hospital is crucial when assessing the BDR.
To join you, I have been told in a private conversation with a senior nurse who works in the ER that the police are dropping off drunks as often as they can in preference to taking then to the police station. Briscoe’s death saw to that. If true, and I have a feeling it is, these numbers need to be added to the numbers of those charged by the police to get an accurate indication of how many drunks are rolling around our streets.
In the same conversation, I was told the hospital is compiling stats which will be given to the police in due course. I only hope they will be given to Erwin as well.


LETTER: The Banned Drinkers Register did NOT work
Interesting to think that two of the more powerful arguments against the BDR are that it was the cause of break-ins at liquor outlets and that relatives of banned drunks were bashing family members to go buy their grog for them.
In other words, those on the register will steal and / or bash to get their grog, so better all around if we give in to them and let them have it.
And how is this not pandering to blackmail?
What if we spent some real money on women’s shelters and stopped giving violent recidivists bail and suspended jail time?
And reinstate the BDR. The haste with which it was canned makes me think it was starting to prove itself. Perhaps the “senior ranked police officer” could be asked to go on the record with her comments. And then get a corroborating statement from a senior nurse who works night shift at ER.


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?


Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor