It’s easy to be cynical and, yes, there have been …

Comment on Liquor Commission: Lawyer, social worker represent Alice by Alex Nelson.

It’s easy to be cynical and, yes, there have been many reviews, reports, commissions and the like into alcohol abuse, anti-social behaviour and crime, and associated morbidity over not just years but decades, indeed, long before we got self-government.
I was in my early years in primary school when the Member for Alice Springs, Bernie Kilgariff, initiated two major inquiries in the NT Legislative Council – one for the liquor industry, the other into the NT Police. That was in 1972-3.
The liquor industry inquiry was the first major one of its kind in the NT, and also the first to investigate the impact that alcohol abuse was having on Aboriginal people.
Its findings were appalling, especially for Alice Springs; and one of its many recommendations was the creation of a Liquor Commission to take primary responsibility of this problem from the NT Police. Bernie Kilgariff introduced the Bill for this initiative too but it didn’t come into force for several years.
Given the scale of the problems we continue to face to this day, which has generally increased commensurate with population growth in the NT, one has to question the efficacy of any measures that have been tried and failed over the years.
Where I take heart with the return of the Liquor Commission is the calibre of the new appointments to that commission, certainly those from Alice Springs.
Russell Goldflam and Blair McFarland have the runs on the board, and both have had to endure heavy public criticism at times for their stances.
They have the right qualifications, first-hand knowledge and experience.
They are eminently suited for their new roles; and, if there was such a thing, they would both be worthy recipients already of the Graeme Ross Award for Social Welfare (anyone who’s been here any length of time would know what I mean).
If their new colleagues on the Liquor Commission are of equal merit then I think there is at last some cause for confidence. We at least owe them a chance to make the changes all decent members of our society crave.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Liquor Commission: Lawyer, social worker represent Alice
Two of the worthiest individuals in our town I can think of to be appointed to the new Liquor Commission. I’m delighted by this news.
Both Russell Goldflam and Blair McFarland have been battling away on the intractable issues of alcohol abuse and related harm for many years, and very much deserve the opportunity they’ve been given to make a difference.
It will be very interesting to see how matters progress but I think this news is a very promising start.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

CLP would build gallery at Desert Park, not Anzac precinct
To me the obvious question to ask is this: Assuming the gallery is built at the Alice Springs Desert Park or south of the Gap, or even not at all, who then is going to be held to account for the unnecessary destruction of a perfectly good public asset, the former Anzac Hill High School, at a cost to taxpayers over $2m and for no good reason at all?
By rights this whole issue should be a major political scandal.


Mparntwe custodians: Lhere Artepe does not speak for us
@ Jack (Posted May 26, 2020 at 1:19 am): Change the scale of your figures (upwards, on a massive scale), widen the scope of your scenario, and you’ve got a perfect description of the Northern Territory for the entire period of “responsible” self-government.


Mparntwe custodians: Lhere Artepe does not speak for us
@ Alex Hope (Posted May 25, 2020 at 3:44 pm): I’ve provided a small reminder of previous shenanigans in my recent comment piece.
The NT Government is simply digging itself into an ever deeper hole; the problem it now has is that it precipitately and unnecessarily spent over $2m of taxpayers’ money to demolish a perfectly good public asset – the former Anzac Hill High School.
The NTG has committed itself to a course of action on this site that it can’t simply abandon, having already gone as far as it has with the expense and actions already taken.
If the Gunner Labor Government was to abandon the Anzac Oval Precinct now, it then faces huge criticism for all the damage it has now caused and for no justification at all.
Whatever criticisms might be directed at the old CLP regime (two decades plus ago), I think it was never on such a scale of bungling incompetence to what we’re now witnessing with the current hapless Labor Government on the home stretch to the imminent polls.
No wonder they’re putting all their hopes in Darwin.


Gallery row: Remember the dam?
@ Jack (Posted May 23, 2020 at 10:42 am): You seem to provide evidence for the existence of a parallel universe – Chansey Paech supports the gallery at the Anzac Oval Precinct despite the disapproval of Traditional Owners of the town area.


High season caravan occupancy rate: Zero.
“We won’t have a tourism industry here if we are not open by July.”
Well, according to CM Michael Gunner on a Darwin radio station today, the borders won’t be open until the beginning of August at the earliest, and only – effectively – if COVID-19 is eliminated in Australia.
Meanwhile Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has stated her state’s borders will likely remain closed until September.
Looks to me the Northern Territory is experiencing a change every bit as transformative as what happened here because of the Second World War.


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