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.
On 29th June, the Women's Council met again to discuss Curtin Springs, this time at Kanypi, an outstation on the Pitjantjatjara Lands near the Western Australia border. As a result of that meeting, the Women's Council also wrote to the Liquor Commission and to Severin, asking them to stop takeaway sales to anangu. The Commission finally responded to the Pitjantjatjara Council's complaint on 18th July, 1988, two months after it was lodged. Chairman Kelvin Rae said the Commission was dismissing the complaint because "there were no grounds for complaint in so far as the Commission was not a party to any agreement between your Council and the Licensee of Curtin Springs." The issue of disruption, violence and fear in the Aboriginal communities was not mentioned or addressed. Presumably, the Commission did not consider those grounds for complaint either. The Council responded, on instructions from Mutitjulu and other member communities, by lodging an objection to the renewal of the Curtin Springs takeaway licence on 25th July. In a letter to the Council's lawyers, which was attached to the objection, the president of Mutitjulu Community outlined "the troubles caused by alcohol consumption...which directly and indirectly affect all members of the Community." These included: greater difficulty in Community control of breaches of the Dry Areas legislation, particularly by transient persons; increased incidents of road accidents or near misses; increases in situations involving domestic violence, particularly involving women and children as victims; a reduction in the amount of money available for families for purchasing food and other living requirements; a decrease in the quality of Community members' participation in community life, e.g. absenteeism from work and children not attending school; behaviour of drunken people presenting a negative image of Aboriginal people in general to the public; and increases in specifically alarming behaviour of drunken people which very often involves sacrilege and other public breaches of Aboriginal Law. 49