Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 May 1995
Parliamentary Record 10
Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 17 May 1995 minister is complaining about the financial burden that Territorians have to bear as it is as a result of the abuse of alcohol in our community. It costs Territorians in the order of $150m a year. This initiative will simply add another burden to the government and to the taxpayer to create this specialist unit. We have adequate police officers and community-based council officers who have good relationships with town camp organisations in the Northern Territory and we should utilise those services. Like the member for Stuart, I would rather see this initiative remain simply as a ministerial statement. The initiative announced by the minister should be discussed further by this government and by the Committee on Use and Abuse of Alcohol by the Community. The community should be given the opportunity to consider it and to determine what can be done with our existing organisations. I believe we have the experience and the people who have done it all. We can draw on the wealth of knowledge of people like Roger Sigston, FORWAARD, Gordon Symons and the Abbotts in Alice Springs who have travelled extensively to gain knowledge in third world countries about substance abuse. I am sure their experience would be useful if the committee asked for their assistance. I commend the suggestion to the minister. Mr POOLE (Correctional Services): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Minister for Health and Community Services in announcing his new initiative to address antisocial behaviour caused by the excessive consumption of cask wine in areas of the Northern Territory. Members would be aware that the Liquor Commission takes a holistic approach to the use and abuse of alcohol throughout the Northern Territory. The Liquor Commission promotes the concept of care, control and culture across the community to ensure that the promotion, serving and use of alcohol is done in a socially acceptable way. In doing so, the commission works closely with the Living With Alcohol program, the Menzies School of Health Research and licensees in regard to the sale and consumption of alcohol. For example, the commission is working with the Living With Alcohol Unit on Project Sunshine which is addressing liquor-related problems in the Pitjantjatjara homeland areas of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. This project is unique in that it crosses 3 administrative jurisdictions and is aimed at aligning licence conditions for all premises in that region which sell alcohol for consumption on the premises and as takeaways. The commission hopes to meet with all affected communities in July or August this year in the process of formalising the standardisation of licensing agreements. This project has been driven in complete cooperation with the Aboriginal communities of the area and is aimed at promoting a sensible alcohol culture. In particular, it is aimed at lessening the problems of domestic violence which unfortunately occurs all too frequently in the region. Similarly, the commission, in support of the Aboriginal Julalikari Council in Tennant Creek, has proposed a 3-month trial period in which the sale and consumption of takeaway cask wine will be limited to 2 L per person per day, with heavy beer being limited to 6 cans per person per day. No limit will be imposed on the sale of light beer. Takeaway hours will be reduced to 12 noon to 8 pm and, on Thursdays, all front bars in the hotels will be unable to trade during the 3-month period. This proposal has come directly from the Aboriginal community of Tennant Creek and reflects the seriousness of antisocial behaviour caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol in the town. The commission is only too happy to support 3240
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