Country Liberals 'not ruling out' a floor price for alcohol


Key stakeholders in the Centre will meet about alcohol policy 
UPDATE, September 18, 7.00pm: While they are “not ruling out” the introduction of a floor price on alcohol, the Country Liberals have  “traditionally opposed it”, said a spokesperson for Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley. It will be on the table for discussion at the forthcoming meeting of stakeholders in  Central Australia, as will all other aspects of alcohol policy bar the BDR.
The Alice Springs News Online put to the spokesperson that the Coroner had made a specific link between sales of alcohol and the problems it causes and suggested that a concrete measure on the supply side will need to be proposed. He said the government has concrete measures but they are not on the supply side; they are mandatory rehabilitation and prison farms.
Deputy Chief Minister Robyn Lambley would appear to be foreshadowing the introduction of a floor price for alcohol – whether Territory-wide or in Central Australia only is not clear. She has just issued a press release, calling on Police Minister Kon Vatskalis to say “whether Labor supports a floor price on the sale of take-away alcohol – a supply side measure Labor previously opposed when in Government”.
Mrs Lambley also said: “As recommended by the Coroner, the Mills Government will initiate as soon as practicable a meeting of key stakeholders in Central Australia”. At this meeting “all aspects of alcohol policy will be up for discussion”, she said, but the “Banned Drinker Register will not be re-introduced because it simply did not work”.
Strangely, the Minister also describes Mr Vatskalis’ admission that there is a requirement for cultural change within the Territory police force as “hypocritical and insulting”. Chief Minister Terry Mills only yesterday laboured the point about a need for cultural change within the force. – Kieran Finnane


  1. “All aspects of alcohol policy will be up for discussion.”
    Would this include the possibility of a day off, a day (Sundays would work) on which no take-away alcohol could be bought. Ayn Rand will be turning over in her grave, but, seriously, wouldn’t it be a treat to have a day off?
    I have a neighbour, and I really like her. But she has visitors, and I don’t much like them. If there were one day a week on which they couldn’t buy grog, they just might bugger off back to where they came from. Bliss. Bugger off.
    At the very least it would give us all – them too – a day off.
    And then there’s this “cultural change within the Territory police force”. Any ideas of what that means? Anyone? I have read that the police are really over slopping up after drunks, and who can blame them! Is that a cultural change, or is it just an admission that they are really over slopping up after drunks?

  2. Hal (Posted September 19, 2012 at 1:17 am): a large part of the needed cultural change will necessarily depend on, and hinge around, the resolution – at least to some degree – of the police workforce recruiting and retention issues. We need to see more of the talented, committed, effective police staying longer in the force and rising to senior positions and providing their seasoned experience and leadership.
    I suspect that this is what the Coroner has in mind when he places such strong emphasis on reducing the impacts of the excessive alcohol consumption, as the effects of this consumption serve to undermine both the stability of the police workforce and also the efforts to improve its attitudes to complying with measures that treat drunks humanely and according to the standard operational procedures.

  3. @ Hal Duell Posted September 19, 2012 at 1:17am.
    Above all else Hal I think it shows that the NT Police were never, in all reality, up to the mark of delivering the duty of care as required to all people under their detention, at ALL times.
    The war on grog arguably, has been foisted upon the force in totality. There are casualties from those rather exuberant and rambunctious policies for example, the Briscoe family.
    I predict that Commissioner McRoberts won’t be lasting much longer in the Northern Territory.
    D. R. Chewings aka THE lone dingo.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here