ALCOHOL WATCH #4 by Russell Guy.
PHOTO: In 1990, the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress purchased a food outlet and an attached takeaway liquor licence, allowed the licence to lapse immediately at considerable cost to itself, and making a spectacle of pouring out booze in Gap Road. These days Aboriginal interests are less coy about becoming part of the grog trade, owning three IGA bottle shops and one in the Milner Road store. Photo by ERWIN CHLANDA.
NT Deputy Chief Minister David Tollner has issued a media release (17/12/13) claiming that the Banned Drinker’s Register, dismantled in 2012 when his government came to power, was a failure.
“In 2011 when the BDR was introduced cider consumption jumped to 80,031 litres and then after a full year in operation to 101,444 litres in 2012. In 2011 sprits consumption increased to 684,522 litres and in 2012 to 721,282 litres. In 2011 when the BDR was introduced wine consumption was 491,703 litres and after a full year it had jumped to 508,653 litres. Only beer consumption had dropped off which had been showing a decline since 2010.”
Mr Tollner said the Country Liberals new Alcohol Protection Orders will target serious problem drinkers and take them off the streets. “This is about protecting people, predominantly women and children from violent drunks who continually offend. It is about taking these people off our streets to make them a safer place for us all.
“Unlike Labor’s Banned Drinker Register which was a blanket annoyance for everyone at the bottleshop, the Country Liberals have introduced new Alcohol Protection Orders which directly target problem drinkers who commit crime. The Banned Drinker Register did not stop these people getting their hands on alcohol and the data shows that.”
What this press release reveals is that cider, wine and spirits consumption is increasing in line with the alcohol industry’s self-regulated business plan.
It’s not necessarily to do with the BDR failing, but it does point to the fact that while Mr Tollner plans to “reduce crime and antisocial behavior associated with alcohol-abuse”, he has no plans to reduce supply, thereby allowing the alcohol industry to continue creating a dragnet for taxpayers to stump up the costs of rehabilitating alcoholics and funding the expected Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) generations of children if the Senate accepts a petition to declare FASD a disability in a growing market.
A group of doctors writing in the British Medical Journal examined the lifestyle of the influential James Bond character, estimating that a steady diet of vodka martinis confirmed his alcoholism.
The study found that he consumed an estimated 92 units of alcohol per week, four times the National Health recommendation, causing liver damage, tremors and impotence that would have killed him in his 50s (the age group that a recent Victorian report found highly represented in hospitalized statistics due to alcohol harm among men).
The finding that Bond’s skill at fighting, driving and seduction is inconsistent with the physical, mental and sexual functioning expected from someone drinking this much alcohol is no surprise to those aware of the power of alcohol promotion in creating a fictional world that is intended to be passed off as reality.
Ian Fleming, Bond’s creator died aged 56 of heart disease after a life notable for alcohol and tobacco excess. One of the doctors quoted said “we suspect that Bond’s life expectancy would be similar” (Australian. 14/12/13: 10).
The Australian (16/12/13) reported that Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) have assembled “a portfolio of champion brands to take the liquor market by storm”. Those who still thought that the company was just a soft drinks company may be surprised to learn that they market beer (Coors), champagne (Yellowtail), US spirits giant Beam products and cider (Rekorderlig, a Swedish brand is “the fastest-growing cider in the Australian market, which now accounts for more than half of sales in value terms – an impressive feat for a brand that only entered the market three years ago”).
CCA chief John Murphy said: “Creating customers in the on-premise market converts people into going into liquor stores and off-premise and taking product home.”
On the growing cider market, SAB Miller, who paid $12.3b for the formerly Australian owned Fosters, are competing against CCA with their own brand, Kopperberg, “a proven performer globally”.
The Australian reports that cider has been growing at more than 10% annually since 2008, at a time when overall beer volumes have been either flat or in decline. SAB Miller’s big cider seller, Strongbow, has now increased in size to 500ml. while Japanese brewer Asahi has also staked its claim in the cider sector with a licence over the Somersby brand, and is seeking to build up its own recently acquired craft beer brand Cricketer’s Arms.
So-called ‘craft’ beers are big in the Hunter Valley and another growing product line.
Vince Kelly, president of the NT Police Association, has called for supply reduction measures to ease police case load on more than once occasion, while a 28 year old man has been charged with the attempting stabbing a Queensland police officer during a national crackdown on alcohol-fueled violence over the weekend.
The 33 year old officer was taking part in Operation Unite, a blitz on alcohol-related crime across Australia and New Zealand. How long can the police be expected to hold the line?