The Centralian advocate Tue 1 Jul 2008
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
v. 62 no. 11
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
8 Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, July 1, 2008 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 1 -J U L -2 0 0 8 P A G E : 8 C O L O R : C M Y K 2 3 0 1 0 2 /0 8 NEWS Grog ID hits pensioners Peter ,74: I cant afford itRebecca Lollback NEW alcohol laws are forcing pensioners to buy photographic identification so they can have a drink. The new alcohol ID system, introduced last week, requires all customers to have their ID scanned. But elderly residents say it has put too much strain on their finances. Peter Holmes, 74, said he could not afford the $24 to buy an ID card. He said: Ive been going to this same place to buy my drinks for 22 years. I went there the other day and they wouldnt serve me. Im a pensioner. I think its ridiculous that I should have to pay for an ID. I cant afford it. Braitling MLA Loraine Braham and Araluen MLA Jodeen Carney said they had received many complaints about the new system. Mrs Braham said: This new law disadvantages those people who, for the most part, do not abuse grog but enjoy a drink. The first few people who complained to me were pensioners who no longer drive and cannot afford taxi fares to the Motor Vehicle Registry. They have to pay $24 for an ID card, perhaps extra for a birth certificate, and theyre cheesed off because they cannot buy their cask until 6pm anyway. Ms Carney said the Territory Opposition had not supported the new alcohol ID system. She said: The alcohol laws are not working in their current form. The government should not have brought in another layer of restrictions. This is just penalising the minority. The Licensing Commissioner has ruled out easing other alcohol laws in Alice Springs. Richard OSullivan said restrictions on cask and fortified wine and the reduced opening hours of bottleshops would stay for now. He said: I consider the supply restrictions complement the ID system to bring about more effective restriction of problem and harmful alcohol abuse. An independent review of the alcohol laws will be undertaken in the near future. Call to scrap alco courts ALCOHOL Courts should be scrapped because they are escape hatches for convicted criminals, the Territory Opposition has said. Araluen MLA Jodeen Carney said one woman, who had been convicted of 31 offences including assaults, was not served a suspended sentence despite breaching her prohibition order. Ms Carney said: We have a serious criminal thumbing her nose at the court and there is no real punishment. Its hard to imagine a less effective or more expensive means of dealing with alcohol related crime and antisocial behaviour. But Alcohol Policy Minister Chris Burns has defended the courts. He said: The case to which Ms Carney is referring is still before the courts and I understand the woman is on remand. Our Alcohol Courts do provide for a suspended sentence to be invoked if an alcohol intervention order is breached. Dr Burns said the courts, established in 2006, were on track to deal with 200 people over three years. DASA education officer Samantha Adam getting the message across in Alice Plaza. Picture: HANNAH MILLERICK National award for DASA project Daniel Burdon AN Alice Springs drug rehabilitation service has been nominated one of Australias top drug and alcohol treatment centres. DASA director Paul Finlay said the services Outreach individual service and follow-up program was nominated for Excellence in Treatment. He said: Its great to be recognised, and this is the first time weve been nominated in the National Drug and Alcohol Awards. We travel to the awards today. The Outreach program operates from the organisations Aranda House detox facility and the Sober Up Shelter. The organisation has been recognised for its hard work in trying to improve the lives of many Central Australians, both indigenous and nonindigenous. This week DASA had a stall in Alice Plaza to make people aware of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Mr Finlay said the stall was an annual event for the organisation as part of the national Drug Action Week, which aimed to raise awareness and promote the achievements of workers in the industry. DASA was recently granted funding to employ four indigenous outreach workers. The workers will provide aid to people around town and in town camps who are affected by alcohol and drug use.