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Living with Alcohol in the Northern Territory Executive Summary



Living with Alcohol in the Northern Territory Executive Summary

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Tabled Paper 633


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




Tabled by Marshall Perron


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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"LIVING WITH ALCOHOL IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY A PROPOSED FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION TO REDUCE THE COSTS OF ALCOHOL RELATED HARM TO THE NORTHERN TERRITORY This document sets out a framework for living with alcohol as a special commodity to be treated with care and discernment so that it may not be an instrument of damage or destruction; a framework which aims always to promote the willingness and capacity of individuals and groups to use alcohol responsibly and sensibly. For a number of individuals, groups, or communities, to live responsibly with alcohol within our society will mean a decision to live without it. This short paper aims to let people know how the Government is thinking, the basis for the decisions which have been made, what action is being taken now, and directions and goals for the future. Its purpose is to define and set in context, the three essential strategic components which, together, comprise comprehensive and effective action, and the coordinating processes through which decisions will be made. The issues to be resolved are complex and emotive, requiring conciliation between differing, conflicting, and often powerful, interests and opinions. While the NT Government can - and will - continue to provide committed leadership, create a supportive environment, and provide resources, that leadership depends on support from the community. Resolution of alcohol-related problems will not come through the actions of government alone nor indeed, through the most concerted actions of agencies and organisations. It will be achieved as a result of decisions, actions, wholehearted involvement and support by everyone in our community. The interim report of the Sessional Committee on alcohol use and abuse by the community establishes that the community wants and expects action to reduce the costs of alcohol related harm; believes the longer term solutions to lie in strategies for education and intervention together with alleviation of underlying social factors; and supports urgent action in the public policy domain. GOAL The Northern Territory Government has endorsed a national policy aim to minimise alcohol related harm across Australia. Indicators of alcohol related harm show the levels and the costs suffered by the Territory to be unacceptably high. Our initial goal is therefore to progressively reduce the levels of measurable alcohol-related harm which we experience so that, by the year 2000, they are no greater than the national level. Thereafter, we aim to decrease it below that level - to lead the nation, rather than follow. 1