Good points made in all three responses so far to …

Comment on LETTER: The Banned Drinkers Register did NOT work by Ian Sharp.

Good points made in all three responses so far to Adam Giles’ letter on the BDR. I too am unconvinced by the Chief Minister, it seems to have become an article of faith with the CLP Government that the BDR had to be abolished, despite being exactly the sort of targeted tool that was needed as part of an effective strategy to ameliorate the problem we all face.
More anecdotal evidence in the NT News late this week re the effectiveness of the BDR … Nigel Scullion is going to have a fence built around his electoral office in Darwin because of problem drunks. Neighbouring businesses support this, but say the situation has got markedly worse since the BDR was abolished by the CLP Government.

Love Hal’s comment about the Wi-Fi on the bus, crikey, wtf! What is important to Alice? And ‘Notateetotaller’s’ (nor a Namesignertoletters!) point about hospital admissions, where is the proper evaluation of the BDR? And Pauls’s point re the person placed in custody 117 times in one year! A flashing red light to all that we have a problem, but the new Government’s response has simply been to abolish the BDR. Let’s see a proper evaluation of the BDR and the implementation of other effective, and quick !!!, measures to tackle the problem like a floor price on alcohol.

Ian Sharp Also Commented

LETTER: The Banned Drinkers Register did NOT work
@Ray. You wrote … “Take it or leave it. If I was to sign Ray Smith, would it be any more credible?”

It would if Ray Smith was your real name. The amount of nonsense that has been submitted in letters to the editor in this town over the years beggars belief, people feel free to exaggerate, misrepresent and spew vitriol behind the cloak of anonymity. I don’t trust communications from people who refuse to identify themselves. Erwin’s comments policy says it all, if you want credibility man up.
So I’ll leave it, thanks “Ray”.

LETTER: The Banned Drinkers Register did NOT work
There was a good report on the BDR earlier this year that might be useful in this discussion:

“… Professor d’Abbs (Substance Misuse Studies, Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin) says …
“My view is that it (BDR) was not in place long enough to be able to make a really informed judgement about whether it was successful or not. I think the figures that are available do point to some small changes, but they’re not consistent and so I think some of the claims, probably both by supporters and opponents, go beyond the evidence.”
But Professor d’Abbs says the limited evidence suggests the register was having a positive effect in the Northern Territory.
“I think that there is strong anecdotal evidence that since the BDR was dismantled there has been an increase, both in drunkenness in the towns concerned, public drunkenness, and some of the harms that spin off from that.
“I’m not aware of hard evidence that backs that up at the moment and I think one of the reasons for that is that the Northern Territory Government, having said that it would be very transparent about releasing data, has to my knowledge not made the kind of information available. But anecdotal reports from people like police and others with frontline experience suggest there has been a deterioration.”
Professor Peter d’Abbs, … says now the Banned Drinkers’ Register is gone, the Northern Territory Government is left with something of a vacuum in its alcohol policy.
“The BDR was part of a broader suite of measures that did constitute a policy and of course without the BDR the rest of those measures have effectively fallen over and in some cases also been dismantled. Of course the other point was that the incoming government took the BDR away but had nothing, certainly no well-thought out policy, to put in its place and I think that was a huge mistake.”

I think Professor d’Abbs would certainly qualify as someone with expertise and knowledge in this field, and his comments should be given a lot of weight. The Government has been hasty in getting rid of the BDR. Which raises the question, why? Let’s pressure them to reverse the decision and give it a proper trial. It could be a useful tool in an overall strategy to combat the alcohol abuse problem we all want dealt with.

LETTER: The Banned Drinkers Register did NOT work
Fair go ‘Anonymous Ray’. What credibility can be put in a statement allegedly made by an unnamed police officer to a bloke who doesn’t stand by his comments by putting his name to them. Doubly anonymous! At least Steve Brown has the wherewithal to sign his name to his posts.

My point stands, let us see a proper evaluation of the BDR trial by independent experts. Less assertions, anonymous or not, and more facts based on proper research and analysis.

Recent Comments by Ian Sharp

Claire Hockridge found dead
What a tragic situation. It looks like there will be a fair bit of negative comment thrown around.
But there are lessons to learn. I’ve let my Sat Phone account lapse since I left The Alice, but I still carry a registered EPIRB in the vehicle just in case.
A couple of hundred dollars will get you a decent one, still take your extra water, recovery gear etc, but don’t go for a drive out bush without one, IMHO. Tragedy averted.

‘Cop will be labelled for the rest of his life as a blackfeller killer’
The officer charged will also always be remembered as a hero for his role in rescuing tourists washed away attempting to cross a flooded Hugh River. He received a bravery medal from the Governor-general. He has also served a tour in the army in Afghanistan.

Council on climate: wide-ranging action as matter of urgency
Well done Erwin for allowing Alex Nelson to post the link to The Conversation article.

We won’t be there for His Royal Highness
How silly is this! How long will we put up with this nonsense of having this lot “rule over us”?

Rules for outback work travel may catch some out
A woman I knew back in the 1980s or 90s was required to drive a Landcruiser out bush alone without the knowledge or capability to change a wheel if she had a flat. Luckily it never happened.

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