Cr Melky's curfew motion soundly defeated


Only his seconder, Councillor Geoff Booth, voted with Cr Eli Melky (pictured) in favour of his motion to revive plans for a youth curfew.
The proposal was defeated six votes to two at last night’s town council meeting. (Cr Chansey Paech was on leave.)
A related motion, to seek an urgent meeting with Minister for Children and Families Robyn Lambley, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Central Australia, received a strong yes vote.
The council wants to know what youth initiatives the government is planning and what resources will be available.


  1. Well, that’s a relief. Common sense prevails, and in saying that I imply no criticism of Crs Melky and Booth for raising the curfew question. It was a debate we had to have, but one that leaves us asking where to now?
    I am glad Council has asked to meet with Minister Lambley. She lives here and knows the town well. As a member of an incoming government, she has been party to cutting some programs carried over from the last government, a process all incoming governments allow themselves. Whether they all had to go, how important was the cost savings and other related questions, I will leave for others.
    But, again, where to now?
    Will we see temporary alcohol restrictions introduced for the coming AFL games? I know this is anathema for some among us, but I also know (and I mean I really do know) that the streets in The Gap will have at least one night during each weekend when the situation on the street will defy description to anyone not a long-term resident.
    My wife and I were discussing this the other night. We both admit to tuning out when the decibels go off the scale, but we both hope we will snap-to if and when someone starts getting actually murdered.
    But will we? And even if we do, will we get through to the police? On more that one occasion recently I have tried to call the non-emergency number and had it ring out. And if I call 000 and it’s not a 000 issue, what will happen the next time when it may well be?
    Some might suggest I go out into the street to determine if it really is a 000 situation, but perhaps no one who has lived here long would make such a foolish suggestion.
    As always, in the short term it comes down to the availability of grog. And when we know that the local pot is set to boil over, (and please can we not quibble – we KNOW the pot is set to boil over during the coming AFL weekends) why oh why can’t we act pro-actively to do something to prevent it?
    And if we don’t, and I predict we won’t, doesn’t that make us all just that little bit culpable?

  2. Hal (Posted January 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm): maybe it’s been placed after your comment was received, but I could swear I just saw an advertisement somewhere further down the main page in this edition of the Alice Springs News letting us know that the Licensing Commission is decreeing no take-away alcohol sales after 7pm on the night of the game (Friday 8th), and none after 6pm the next evening (Saturday 9th).
    The Licensing Commission is also limiting sales of beer to one slab per person per day (I think), and spirits to one medium bottle per person per day. Wine will be limited to bottled product (no casks), and no fortified wines will be sold.

  3. @Bob
    Very welcome news, altho I cannot find the ad you mention. Hope it’s as you say.
    It’s not enough – Thursday to mention just one – but it’s a start.
    Grog in Alice has become an almost intractable problem, and it’s one of our own making. Quite astonishing when you think about it.
    The one good thing to come out of a boil-over is the money gets spent and the next couple nights are quiet enough. Which is little consolation to those recovering in ER.
    Thanks for the info.

  4. Hal (Posted January 30, 2013 at 7:45 pm): I can’t see it now either. Maybe I was hallucinating. Am I imagining things again Erwin?
    [Hi Bob … The NT Government placed the advert and then withdrew it. May I suggest you contact the Licensing Commission for further details. Kind regards, Erwin.]
    [Hi Bob and all … the NT Government has just reinstated the liquor advert, at 9:45am CST on January 31 … see our home page. Kind regards, Erwin.]

  5. Hopefully, the government is planning a six-day per week take-away alcohol regime as an initiative to show youth that they are prepared to act sensibly in reducing the opportunity for binge drinking and lead by example in Alice Springs.
    This may help offset the alcohol industry’s targeting of youth in relentlessly sophisticated peer-group pressured marketing campaigns and show some moral support, rather than taking the punitive, law and order, crackdown approach which is plainly hypocritical as so many of our police are aware.
    However, there has been no show of support for police in reducing alcohol supply, enabling them to advance on crime-related issues.
    As both Alex Nelson and Hal Duell have reiterated in these posts, we are not holding our breath, if not guarding ourselves against cynicism.

  6. @Bob
    And all interested parties –
    I have been informed that something is planned regarding take-away alcohol during next weekend’s AFL All-Stars game.
    The details will be published directly.
    In advance I would like to thank the members of the NT Liquor Licensing Commission for doing what they can, whatever that may prove to be.

  7. I’m not sure that we should see Eli’s motion as being defeated, rather that it was the view of the room that there was simply no point in addressing the matter until we have some first hand up to date knowledge of what the new governments intentions are.
    My own point, a view that received some support from the room, is that a curfew unsupported by the appropriate infrastructure, is going to be just about as effective as picking kids up and letting them back out on bail – completely pointless exercise.
    However, curfews do have a place in addressing issues relating to those youths who do have a functional family home, who may be going through a rebellious stage, or facing other issues that can be dealt with, within the family unit, along with some support from the appropriate services.
    However, as this issue overlays the issue of neglected, homeless youth it’s hard to tell how much of a problem it is. This should become more apparent when we have dealt with the overriding issue of neglect. It may then become necessary to readdress the need for a curfew of some kind.
    In the meantime, good on you Eli for keeping the issue sharply in the focus for our Government.
    I hear whispers that things are underway, let’s hope they don’t disappoint.


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