Territory Stories

Ministerial Statement Kava Licensing Issues



Ministerial Statement Kava Licensing Issues

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Tabled paper 2012


Tabled Papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Timothy Baldwin


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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Indeed Kava is now supplied in several communities that did not even apply for approval under the former licensing system. Let me again turn to the draft report: The pervasiveness and sophistication of the illegal kava market in Arnhem Land have also grown. Most of the kava suppliers in Arnhem Land today are Tongans based in Nhulunbuy. In a particularly brazen demonstration of the lucrative profits to be made from this illicit trade, at least some of them are in the habit of regularly flying business class to and from Sydney; returning with up to 18 suitcases and/or 30kg boxes of kava as excess baggage. And again: The Tongan suppliers do not, in general, distribute kava themselves in Aboriginal communities; in some cases they are in fact banned from communities. Instead they supply networks of Aboriginal retailers - in some instances up to ten or 15 distributors in a single community. According to one observer, kava is now sold in at least five communities that did not apply for permits under the 1990 Northern Territory legislation.

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