Is misuse of alcohol only an Indigenous issue?




Sir, The CLP should explain to Territorians just what type of inquiry into alcohol-fuelled violence will be held following news emerging today that it will focus on Indigenous harm only.


Families regardless of race are searching for answers as to why random alcohol-fuelled violence has meant the death or serious injury of someone they love.


What on earth is going on? Yesterday CLP Senator Nigel Scullion announced a “broad-ranging national inquiry into alcohol-fuelled violence” and said everything would be looked at, yet today we hear that it will only focus on Indigenous Australians.


Are we to believe that yesterday Senator Scullion recognised that grog harm was a whole-of-society issue yet today it’s a race-based issue? This is extraordinary.


What has changed in a day? The national debate on grog-related harm flared after violent incidents in Kings Cross, Sydney during the festive season, and the outpouring of NSW Police outrage prompted widespread debate. Why now is it harm to Indigenous people only?


How do we segregate out the affects of alcohol on Australians? Why would Government discriminate?


It is nonsense to think that only Indigenous Australians engage in alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour. In the Northern Territory we know that non-Indigenous Territorians drink at 1.5 times the national average and Indigenous Territorians drink at twice the national average. This issue affects everyone.


Why has Senator Scullion changed the scope of the Inquiry? What has happened since yesterday? Why is our Chief Minister Adam Giles silent on this issue? Does he agree that the misuse of alcohol is only an Indigenous issue?”


Delia Lawrie

Leader of the Opposition



  1. Oh no, no … alcohol is not a white man’s problem … even if they drink too much alcohol, nothing will happen to white people … they can walk and talk steady regardless of how much they drink … and they can drive safely too even if they had far too many drinks … and violence? No, no … white people wont be hurt or they wont even feel the pain if they are assaulted and fall victims to alcohol fuelled violence … and they wont even throw up if they drank too much.

  2. Wise words Delia. If only your party had believed such when in power there wouldn’t be a problem to solve. I reckon if they ever give yous another chance you should try harder to be heard.

  3. In my humble opinion, when Senator Nigel Scullion announced a “broad-ranging national inquiry into alcohol-fuelled violence” it was widely welcomed.
    Sadly, we then discover Commonwealth shall again adopt racist approach so as to only focus on “Indigenous Australians”.
    Commonwealth grossly dishonest suggesting intoxication is a racially linked issue.
    Such filtering clearly is a racist action.
    Racist is an appropriate description when filter or focus only upon Australians by racial tags.
    Commonwealth Attorney-General answering a Question on Notice advised Parliament no such test existed in Australia.
    Commonwealth racism created these problems, further Commonwealth racism is not part of any solution.

  4. Would it be cynical to suggest a couple of well placed phone calls from heavyweights in the alcohol industry could have resulted in the less than 24 hour about-face.

  5. 100% behind Nigel Scullion’s idea. It needs to be addressed nation wide. To focus on indigenous only proves how out of step the government (at all levels) really is. An enquiry of the type Sen. Scullion suggested is needed right now.

  6. @Paul
    The incidence is very much worse in Aboriginal Australians.
    What do you mean by Commonwealth racism? Do you mean “white”? If so, you are the racist here.

  7. No. Alcohol is a problem for all people. Clearly the number of white alcoholics outnumber those of indigenous background.
    In a town like Alice the problem appears the other way but that occurs as many indigenous are forced to drink outside, having no home.
    Whites do exactly the same but do it indoors so you can’t see it. Domestic violence, and worse, is common to all people as well.
    I do agree seeing it manifest on the streets is a bad look and keeps people away. It’s really up to you, the government to find ways to deal with this without being discriminatory.
    If you doubt the balance being mainly white, please tell me why every Capital City has chapters of Alcoholics Anonymous. I can assure you not many indigenous attend. It is by far white attended group. And these are only the ones who admit they have a problem.
    Many of us refuse to admit to it but we are an alcoholic, a drunk regardless of what we think of ourselves.
    I was one but stopped 14 years ago, overnight. So should you.

  8. Re Nimby Posted January 13, 2014 at 4:06 pm
    The incidence is higher where people are poor, with fewer opportunities to improve their circumstances.
    Commonwealth racism occurs every time the Commonwealth claims any authority, attempts to qualify, the rights or responsibilities of any Australian, using race as a measure.
    Such racism continues.
    In 1967 Australians overwhelmingly voted to eliminate all claims of authority for such legislation and such racist actions.
    The legal issue is who amends the Australian Constitution – Parliament or Australian voters, who’s purpose is dominant.
    This view does not cancel land rights.

  9. Nimby, get a life and open your eyes. Who fills up all the local pubs? Whites except in places like the Alice, Tennant and Katherine. You clearly do not understand what racism is.
    Right on Ray.
    Matthew, you don’t know a lot about money do you?
    Paul and P Mohan. Good comments. Like the way you put it, P Mohan.
    G Notting, Very naive of you. The problem is world wide, not just those in Alice. Governments have tried and failed more times than you have, slept I would bet.
    The governments in all Capital Cities are in panic mode about alcohol abuse. Don’t you read anywhere but here? Try Sydney and Brisbane. Front page every day.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here