'Collapse' of the construction sector, grog measures flawed


New statistics released by Treasury this week have highlighted the collapse of the construction sector in the Northern Territory, says Shadow Treasurer John Elferink. “Year-on-year, overall construction in 2011 fell by 8.9% in the Territory, the worst results in the country. “Worse still, comparing June quarters, residential building has dropped by almost one third in the last year, with new housing construction down 41.1%, which means the door has slammed shut in the last quarter,” says Mr Elferink. “On an annual basis, construction spending is now at its lowest level since the end of 2005. “Programs like the Government’s BuildBonus scheme has delivered a miniscule $10m in housing construction, less than 10% of the anticipated $150m it is meant to support. “In terms of houses built, that’s less than 20 homes out of a potential 325.” Meanwhile Shadow Alcohol Policy Minister Peter Styles says while there are 1576 people on the Banned Drinker Register, already 104 of those have breached their third Banning Alcohol and Treatment notice. Not one has been made to undertake alcohol rehabilitation. “This is one of the inherent flaws in the Government’s grog plan,” says Mr Styles. “Problem drinkers can continue to access alcohol, but they don’t have to undertake treatment for their addiction. “The Country Liberals policy mandates alcohol rehabilitation and leaves ordinary Territorians to buy alcohol without producing photo ID.” Mr Styles said the grog bans have resulted in increased humbugging and alcoholics seeking out other drugs, such as cannabis.


  1. Alcohol-Grog (2) I have traveled round most of this country and visited and stayed at a lot of Aboriginal communities, urban and remote. And so called Missions. About forty. And my observation and experience is that not many Aboriginal people want to, or are going to, give up the grog!
    Walk down any street, go to any park or river bank where Aboriginal people gather to drink and explain that the government wants them to stop drinking grog and to stop smoking cigarettes, to Close the Gap, and they will tell you in no uncertain terms that the government can Get Racked!
    “White man bought the grog here so I’m gonna keep drinking,” one well known drunk will tell anyone who listens!
    Aboriginal people are well aware of the dangers and problems caused by and associated with drinking and abusing alcohol. And have been for many years. Many drink to forget them! To blot and to block them out! As Homer’s mate Carl said, “Alcohol is the best antidote for responsibility.”
    There have been health campaigns and education initiatives galore over a lot of years, both State and Federal, to combat the abuse of alcohol by Aboriginal people and the problems caused by it. All have failed, with no-one giving up the grog.
    And why should we? With no accountability issue. I’m Jacky Jacky I know nothing. I’ve played this game, as did many others, over the years. I’ve also had it played on me whilst assisting Aboriginal people. And it is still going on. A very common practice.
    Is it a part of our psyche? Are we different? Circumstances?
    But this is not discussed in the public domain. The comfort zone of victimhood. Why move on?
    (Extract from http://www.whitc.info)

  2. Stand around almost any licensed premises you’ll find yourself seeing people gathering to drink.
    To attend licensed premises people face advertising to reduce their drinking and stop smoking.
    Licensed premises management are required to enforce the public policy which targets reducing consumption, reducing drunkenness, reducing aggressive behavior, reducing violence, reducing smoking, and reducing the consequences.
    Missing from most serious discussions is how to achieve these public policy aims whilst enabling drinkers to enjoy a drink.
    Public policy provides locations where people can meet comfortably to consume alcohol compliant with public policy.
    Drinkers then understand their continued enjoyment, of in most cases pleasant environments, requires compliance with the public policy restrictions to their personal desires.
    Clear result is people do reduce their consumption, do reduce their public intoxication, do reduce their violence.
    Intoxication, violence, movement of people from dry communities to where can drink alcohol continues.
    Is transferring problem drinkers to town an effective policy for long term reduction of intoxication and related issues?
    Consider enabling licensed premises without takeaway in fictionally dry communities.
    Those working or enjoying themselves in such premises may be more persuasive upon those whose behavior threatens closure for the rest of the day / week / month.

  3. Does Mr Styles have any evidence to support his claim that alcoholics are seeking out other drugs? Of people who volunteer for rehabilitation only a few succeed at the first attempt, the majority relapsing fairly quickly.
    Is compulsory rehabilitation possible?
    Experience is that making alcohol more expensive is unpopular, but works.


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