LETTERS: New challenge for online shopping for grog


Sir – Labor’s banned drinkers’ register, which penalises all Territorians not just problem drunks, is quickly turning into a farce.
From tomorrow (Friday, July 1), anyone buying take away alcohol must show photo ID, which is checked and scanned, before the sale can go through. Labor says personal details won’t be kept and the scanning process will only take seven seconds, but that’s far from the truth.
A constituent has handed me a letter they received from one of the major grocery chains. It says if they wish to shop online and include alcohol in their shopping then they will have to fax copies of their personal details to the shop and those copies will be kept on file for future reference.
The email states that orders from 1 July 2011 will require a:
• NT or other Australian drivers licence; or
• NT or other Australian evidence of age card; or
• Passport; or
• NT Ochre Card.
The email ends with an invitation to “fax a copy of your ID through… upon receipt of this letter.”
This means people living in the bush or on cattle properties or who simply live too far from a bottle shop, or even pensioners will be forced to hand over their personal details if they want to buy alcohol online.
With identity theft becoming an ever increasing issue and cost to our community, people are being forced to hand over personal details with no control over how the information may be used.
Labor’s alcohol policy is an invasion of privacy, and once again ordinary law abiding Territorians are being punished, because Labor can’t keep drunks off our streets and out of our parks.
Peter Styles
Shadow Minister for Alcohol Policy
Minister responds, sort of
Sir – The CLP’s latest flimsy and misleading attack on the Banned Drinker’s Register proves they are soft on crime.
The party that said that “the link between crime and alcohol is negligible” are now complaining that people who want their alcohol home delivered will have to provide their home address.
The Member for Sanderson’s latest clanger confirms his party’s shaky grasp of reality, with a misleading tirade against the Banned Drinkers Register that effectively accuses online retailers of potential identity theft.
Mr Styles falsely claims that people buying alcohol online will have their details recorded on the Banned Drinker’s Register. As consistently stated, the ID scanner system being rolled out across the Territory does not record any personal information.
The simple scan of your ID checks your name against the Banned Drinkers Register – if you are not banned, you are free to purchase alcohol with no information recorded – the whole process takes about seven seconds.
To regulate alcohol sales made away from the checkout, online retailers are requiring licence details for online purchasers from the Territory to ensure they are not selling to banned drinkers.
The personal details Mr Styles refers to are necessary for the completion of an online order whether it includes alcohol or not.
Is it official CLP policy for online orders not to include an address? It would be interesting to see how these orders would be delivered.
The reality is that the CLP want people who commit grog-fuelled violence to continue to have access to alcohol.
We know 60% of all crime in the Territory is alcohol related.  The CLP are soft on alcohol abuse and soft on crime.
Much like their embarrassing claim that there is no link between alcohol and crime, Terry Mills and the CLP have proven themselves out of ideas and out of touch with Territorians.
Delia Lawrie
Alcohol Policy Minister
Responsible drinkers pay for failures of government
While it is commendable that a number of Alice Springs licensees have moved to take action against problem drinking in the town, it’s unfortunate responsible drinkers are being made to pay for the failure of the Labor Government’s alcohol policies.
It’s unfortunate it’s being left to the liquor industry to find a solution itself because of the ineffectiveness of Government policy.
A floor price on alcohol will have the effect of increasing the cost of living in the Northern Territory and will hit ordinary Alice Springs residents who enjoy a bottle of wine with their evening meal.
It’s already expensive to live in the Northern Territory without taking away the competitive nature of business and the benefits that come from that.
The Henderson Government’s position on a floor price is all over the shop, with Treasurer Delia Lawrie last week dismissing a concept her Government had fostered for months and the Chief Minister this week applauding the move.
What is certain is residents of Alice Springs will pay more for a bottle of wine than elsewhere in the Territory.
Instead of punishing all Territorians with drinking licenses, the Government should target problem drinkers.
Labor talks about cracking down on problem drinkers and mandatory rehabilitation, but the reality is much different.
The Government’s much publicised Banning Alcohol and Treatment (BAT notices) are a damp squib.
While the Government promised problem drinkers issued with BAT notices would face mandatory rehabilitation, the reality is somewhat different.
Instead of mandatory rehabilitation, problem drunks will be referred to an approved provider which could be a nurse or Aboriginal health worker for discretionary rehabilitation.
This could be as little as a health counseling session before the term of the BAT Notice is reduced at the discretion of the approved provider.
This hardly constitutes mandatory treatment.
Under the Country Liberals, drinkers placed in protective custody three times in six months will face mandatory rehabilitation. No ifs, no buts.”
Peter Styles MLA
Shadow Alcohol Policy Minister
Lhere Artepe Enterprises Supermarkets continue their alcohol strategy
The Northside, Eastside and Flynn Drive Cellarbrations stores have for a long time taken a responsible position on the service of Alcohol.
We are continuing our 18 months ban on “clean skin” wines and will maintain our floor price on wine, port and spirits based on a price per standard drink.
Most people probably haven’t noticed we have been using a floor price at Northside Cellarbrations for over two months.
This strategy has given us a significant drop in the amount of behavioural issues presenting at the Northside store.
Importantly our approach has not affected the vast majority of our customers, who are responsible drinkers. They have been getting the same great products at the same great prices.
We welcome announcements by Coles and Woolworths that they are also adopting a responsible approach to the ranging and pricing of products that contribute to anti-social behaviour.
A floor price is the best way to address alcohol related issues, it reduces problem drinking, it stops problem products entering the market, and because it only affects the bottom 2% of products, responsible drinkers will never notice the difference!
Reagan Garner
General Manager
Lhere Artepe Enterprises Supermarkets


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