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Submission Sessional Committee on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol by the Community 051 Pitjantjatjara Council Inc



Submission Sessional Committee on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol by the Community 051 Pitjantjatjara Council Inc

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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.




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there were few problems. The difference, he said, was that Oak Valley was several hundred kilometres from the nearest liquor outlet. In relation to the Pitjantjatjara Lands, Morrison noted that the nearest outlets which sold takeaway alcohol all had licence conditions, such as those which pertained at Marla, which prohibited sales to persons resident in or travelling to or through the Lands. These conditions worked well, he said, and effectively restricted availability of alcohol to the Lands, which were dry. He noted that the South Australian Licensing Court was reluctant to grant licences without restrictions because of the inevitable destructive impact on Aboriginal communities. While a small minority of Pitjantjatjara people occasionally drove to Coober Pedy or Alice Springs for grog, Morrison said that, in his long experience, Aboriginal drinkers generally would do without if supplies were not convenient. Morrison testified: I've got to be totally honest with you. I do not have evidence that suggests to me that people drive long distances to get their grog. It is just the opposite. The evidence that I have is they will go to the closest outlet as opposed to [going] up to Alice Springs. Morrison's testimony showed that Pitjantjatjara people took a hard line when it came to grog in their own communities and were very committed to controlling it as strongly as possible. He told the Commission: I think that the Pitjantjatjara people work very hard to control it and I think that through the by-laws and through the introduction of the police aide scheme in South Australia they have worked very hard to control it. After Curtin Springs resumed takeaway sales, this became increasingly difficult. There were "substantial" increases in the regularity with which grog was coming into the communities and in the quantities of it, he said. For some communities, like Amata and Ernabella, grog-related troubles has become "almost a daily situation" as a result of these sales. Assaults, property damage, general community disruption and public drunkenness were the result. Every week there were reports of grog problems in the communities, he said. South Australian police also were investigating two deaths that had 52

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