Submission Sessional Committee on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol by the Community 051 Pitjantjatjara Council Inc
Tabled Paper 271
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.
In a conversation with David Avery, director of Legal Services for the CLC, some four days later, Severin denied that the excision application had anything to do with his decision to resume sales. Rather, Severin reportedly said that the decision was largely an economic one: he had lost considerable income when Aboriginal communities had stopped buying beef from him and low tourist numbers during the summer months created cash flow difficulties. According to the CLC lawyer, Severin said that he would consider restricting sales again when his cash flow improved. Takeaway sales continued, however, and the destructive effects were felt throughout the Pitjantjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra communities. In court proceedings at Amata, Ernabella and Pipalyatjara in South Australia, as well as at Yulara, Curtin Springs was named as the source of illegal grog coming into communites. At Imanpa, serious incidents of violence were reported, one nearly resulting in a death. An employee of the Pitjantjatjara Council, driving down the Lasseter Highway in the darkness on a return trip from the bush, was involved in a nightmarish incident near Curtin Springs when a small child wandered onto the road. The child's parents were in a grog camp, drunk. The Council employee ensured the child's evacuation to hospital. On 22nd February, Leonard Burton, chairman of Amata Community, wrote a letter to Severin telling him how unhappy he and his people were because drunks were disrupting community life. He requested that Severin stop selling takeaway grog to Pitjantjatjara people and to go back to the old arrangement. Nothing changed. On 1st and 2nd March, Curtin Springs and the trouble it was causing were the major topic of discussion at the annual general meeting of the Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra Women's Council, held at Amata, South Australia. The meeting, attended by more than 100 women from 12 communities in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, resolved that: "Pitjantjatjara Council should ask Curtin Springs to stop selling take-away alcohol to Aboriginal people. If he doesn't stop, we should oppose his licence." 47