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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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Police Officer Steve Sims supported Buckle's view that Aboriginal drinkers would only drive to Alice Springs if alcohol sales to them were curtailed at Curtin Springs. Sims, who served at the Yulara police station from October 1986 to September 1988, said that although there was an agreement with Pitjantjatjara Council at the tavern, it was nevertheless "very common" for Aboriginal people to approach tourists to buy alcohol for them. He said that the "dry areas" legislation could be effectively policed - even with easily accessible grog from Curtin Springs - but only "if the community assists". The implication was that the communities that were objecting to the Curtin Springs licence were not seriously committed to controlling alcohol. If takeaway sales were stopped at Curtin Springs, Sims admitted that "it may have a short term effect" but he added: "I don't think the people are going to stop drinking alcohol if the Severins don't sell it in Curtin Springs. They will travel to Yulara, they will get more from there, and they will get more grog from Alice Springs." Severin was a man of good character, he said, who had always provided whatever assistance he could to the police. Severin's testimony The bulk of testimony by the Curtin Springs licensee turned on whether there had been a change in policy at the roadhouse and whether an "informal arrangement" had ever existed whereby he declined to sell takeaway alcohol to Pitjantjatjara people. Severin maintained that there had been "no great change" in policy. He denied that there had ever been an informal arrangement. A videotape of a 1985 interview with the ABC was shown to the Commission in which Severin told the reporter quite clearly that it was his policy not to sell takeaway alcohol to Aboriginal people at the request of elders at Docker River. Asked about this statement, Severin described it as a "handling of an untruth" for the benefit of the ABC reporter. Asked how the Chairman of the Liquor Commission at that time also had come to believe there was an "informal arrangement" at Curtin Springs, Severin said that the Chairman must have been "indoctrinated" by Pitjantjatjara Council lawyers. 60