Grog: Stop TBL, bring back BDR, says CLC


p1931-1410-tipping-out-alcoLETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The Central Land Council supports the reintroduction of the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) and calls for additional support for families affected by the Northern Territory’s extreme rate of alcohol consumption.
Meeting at Ross River, east of Alice Springs, the CLC delegates called for the racially discriminatory Temporary Beat Locations (TBL) policy to be removed but accepted that it needs to be phased out.
In their discussion with the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition CLC delegates voiced their expectation that the police resources freed up by the abolition of the TBL will be redirected to tackling the illicit grog trade.
The delegates passed the following resolution:
“The Central Land Council acknowledges the devastating effects of alcohol on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal families and communities.
Alcoholism is a disease, not a criminal offence.
Alcohol policy should treat all people the same and not discriminate.
The CLC calls for:-
• The TBL to be phased out, and for police to deal only with alcohol issues, not other offences or warrants on the temporary beat.
• The BDR to be reintroduced in a way that targets problem drinkers and those with alcohol-related offences.
• More support and rehabilitation services for individuals and families living in town and remote communities who are struggling with alcohol issues.
• More education for young women and their families about the impact of alcohol and the risk of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder; and
• Greater transparency about and access to the process of seeking a permit or exemption for a dry area.
Elke Wiesmann
Communications Manager
Central Land Council
PHOTO: Tipping out alcohol outside the Congress shop in 1990. Alice Springs News Online archive.


  1. Most injuries seen at the hospital are alcohol related issues. Police time are spent on alcohol related issues. A ban on alcohol takeaway sales two days per week. Making this town a better place for everyone.

  2. Since the legal right to consume alcohol was given to Aboriginal people in the late 1960s, amending a racially discriminate society, the placing of police outside takeaway liquor outlets specifically targets Aboriginal people.
    While the NTG is returning the BDR, the legislation remains socially discriminatory.
    The effects of seven day a week takeaway continues to incriminate NT society as the recent AMT revealed.
    There’s something wrong with the way we allow alcohol to do business. The body of evidence is beyond reasonable doubt. The social and financial cost outweigh the amenity.

  3. • The TBL to be phased out, and for police to deal only with alcohol issues, not other offences or warrants on the temporary beat.
    Pardon my “odd” sense of humor. They are not to be picked up for outstanding warrants while they are buying grog?
    I can’t think of a better way to retard their purchase of grog than knowing that they will be checked for other outstanding offences.
    Russel … rights come with responsibilities.
    Mark … Tennant Creek did this but we do not have the will in our town council.

  4. Giving Aboriginal people the right to consume alcohol and then persecuting them for it 50 years later under the Point of Sale Intervention (POSI) or TBL, is a good example of postmodern social theory in its contradiction.
    Similarly, writing Aboriginal people out of the Constitution because of the Dying Pillow Policy – they were supposed to die out – or eugenically, be bred out as the underlying rationale supposed, and seeking to write them back in via a Referendum, seems altogether passing strange.
    It might be construed that there is a racist social order implicit in the NT alcohol legislation, exposing the underlying alcoholism of Australian society. This is not a criticism, merely an observation of the so-called Lucky Country.
    The different social organisation and lifestyle of Aboriginal people is not taken into account by the 2 km law, nor the seven day a week takeaway legislation.
    While not wanting to be guilty of wowserism, the situation calls for some kind of creative review of the existing legislation, not just the implementation of measures like the BDR, important as that is in limiting alcohol-related violence.
    The previous Chief Minister endorsed the “core values” of the ‘bloody good drinkers’ of the NT, but moderation and a return to family values should be the prerequisite of a reforming government.
    The question is whether the electorate is mature enough to ask its political representatives to make the changes or even to believe that the political will exists to end 50 years of a failed social experiment with liberal alcohol supply.

  5. I like the police being at the bottleshops.
    I like them picking up people with outstanding warrants whilst at the bottleshops.
    I like them checking for expired car registrations whilst at the bottleshops.
    I like not getting humbugged for money or to buy grog now when I go to the bottleshops.
    But according to some, all this makes me a dinosaur.

  6. Michael and Mark, every time I go to the supermarket to buy my drinks the only people the police pull up and take their grog are our people.
    I have seen white people walk out with half a dozen cartons and bottles of spirits, nothing done to pull these people up for their license or their address.

  7. @ Russell: With respect, I have been asked many times and I have seen Aboriginal people not be asked for ID too.
    Just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

  8. Alcohol is behind a lot of domestic violence in families.
    An Aboriginal women is 45 times more likely to experience domestic violence than white women. Between 80 and 100 Australian women are killed by their partners every year.

  9. People abuse alcohol and drugs to escape responsibilitys of going to work, or getting a job. Getting up early to help get kids to school. Buying food to feed themselves or their families. Or keeping their homes and yards clean.


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