LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – I condemn Chief Minister Adam Giles’ dismissal of the grog problems in the Territory.
There are obviously deep seeded divisions in the CLP. The Member for Daly, Gary Higgins, criticised the lack of mechanism stopping supply of alcohol at the point of sale, and plead for a solution to the alcohol fuelled violence he witnesses in his electorate.
We’ve also had the CLP Health Minister, Robyn Lambley, say on the radio yesterday that she didn’t want to take the banned drinker register off the table as she saw its merits in places like Nhulunbuy.
We’ve had the CLP Senator, Nigel Scullion, call a national inquiry into alcohol fuelled violence – only to backflip the next day and narrow the scope of the inquiry to target Indigenous problem drinkers.
We’ve even had the Prime Minister come out and say that there is a problem with alcohol across Australia that needs to be addressed.
The only people who appear to have their heads in the sand and repeatedly dismissive of the realities of the Territory’s grog problem are the Chief Minister, Adam Giles, and the Territory’s Minister for Alcohol Policy, Dave Tollner.
Mr Giles clearly has his head in the clouds if he thinks there isn’t a big enough grog problem in the Territory to warrant an inquiry.
The rising alcohol related crime statistics across the Territory are proof enough that the Territory needs real solutions.
We know that if the rivers of alcohol keep flowing, the alcohol related crime statistics keep rising.
The grog problem in the Territory does not discriminate by race, there needs to be solutions for all Territorians. We need to sit down with the experts and look at all the options.
The CLP needs to listen to their members like Robyn Lambley and take a reasonable and rational approach to tackling this issue.
Ken Vowles (pictured)
Shadow Minister for Indigenous Policy