Giles has head in sand and in clouds over booze: ALP



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


  1. Ken, I agree that serious action is needed. Don’t agree that another inquiry is the solution unless government has the goolies to actually implement. We know the problems and mostly the solutions. Unfortunately they are unpalatable to BOTH sides of politics. Yours too.
    The Banned Drinking Register was hated as it affected us all. The Feds courtesy of Centrelink need to extend the Basics Card to cover up to 100% for recidivist drunks. That’s just for starters.

  2. Was it such an imposition on you to show your license when you bought alcohol, Mark? It affected you that much?

  3. Commonwealth, States and Territories, they ALL need ensure their legislation enable all Local Court Magistrates, when the Magistrate decides appropriate, to place individuals under management, partial or full, Centrelink Basics Card coverage, or on a Banned Drinkers Lists.
    Showing our ID when purchasing alcohol, is a minor inconvenience well worth the results.
    Recidivist drunks shall quickly become aware their court appearance will result in serious – to them, consequences.

  4. Yes, it is an imposition of privacy Melanie and Paul. I took an exception to this unwarranted data collection. Haven’t you noticed how much data our governments collect (and store) about us? Tourists too were caught in government’s web. They were regularly turned away trying to buy a six-pack without a passport. How damned ridiculous!
    If this large, costly, bureaucratic government structure had actually brought about a noticeable lessening of anti-social behaviours I may have considered the cost worthwhile. It did not.
    I still went to sleep most nights with shouting and screaming on the hill opposite my house. Along with many, many others I turned to the Australia Post Liquor Shop where I freighted my vin rouge of choice.
    Yes, I may have signed for the parcel but I escaped the BDR database. Incidentally the large increase in alcohol freighted via A.P. and other couriers by residents never appeared on the alcohol sales figures in town making it easy for the government to show a decrease in alcohol sales. Again, a misuse of statistics.
    However it is a habit I now continue. It has brought me cheaper wine even with the freight cost loading.


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