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Submission Sessional Committee on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol by the Community 055 Darwin City Council



Submission Sessional Committee on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol by the Community 055 Darwin City Council

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Tabled Paper 381


Tabled Papers for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Eric Poole


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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While Council is aware of the construction of the Sobering Up Centre at Coconut Drive and appreciates the benefits which this Centre will bring, it will be essential that appropriate referrals are suggested and promoted to those who visit the Centre so that more is achieved than keeping thirty or forty people off the streets each day. It is also considered imperative that the Government, possibly through the agency of the Drug and Alcohol Bureau, conduct research into the many aspects of public drunkenness so that a comprehensive strategy can be implemented which is aimed at reducing its incidence amongst both transient and permanent members of the community. In an attempt to address the problem amongst only one group in Darwin because of its high public profile, Council visited a particular Aboriginal community and sought the assistance of tribal elders as well as representative of local organisations. Some progress has been made through this approach but further intensive research and contact is beyond the resources of local government. However, Council would willingly co-operate with the Government if a broader based project was initiated. (d) Pricing and Taxes As the acceptable blood alcohol level of Territory drivers is soon to be lowered to 0.05 and given the persistently high number of alcohol related road accidents, it is requested that the Government give fresh consideration to initiatives aimed at encouraging the consumption of low alcohol beer in the community. It is significant that the Victorian Governments decision to define low alcohol beer as beer containing between 0.50 and 3.80 percent alcohol and to completely abolish the licence fee for low alcohol beer that there has been a substantial increase in the consumption of light beer since 1985 and a corresponding decrease in the consumption of full strength beer. This pattern has not occurred in the Northern Territory where light beer is defined as beer containing between 1.15 and 2.49 percent alcohol, thereby excluding Carlton Light for example, and where licence fees have only been reduced from 11 percent to 9 percent. It is suggested that the exclusion of probably the most popular brands of light beer from the Territory definition of light beer and the relatively minor concession in licence fees have been insufficient incentives to affect drinking patterns.