LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – Cuts to services that assist problem drinkers are a worrying outcome from Labor’s Banned Drinker Register (BDR).
The 2017-18 Budget cut over $8m from Alcohol and Other Drugs funding that spread across the Department of Health, Top End Health Service and Central Australian Health Service.
If ‘protecting people who are misusing alcohol form severe or serious harm’ is the true object of the BDR – as section 3 of the Bill suggests – these cuts simply do not make sense.
Labor has not learnt from the mistakes of the past.
In 2014 the Police Association said: “The weakness of the BDR was that the government of the day failed to apply adequate resources to the rehabilitation aspects of the policy and as such it failed to bring about long term change for the alcoholics on the register.
“This failure ensured that the BDR was vulnerable to criticism and it is arguable created the political environment that ultimately led to its dismantling.”
The BDR alone will not solve the Territory’s alcohol problems and should be incorporated as part of a suite of measures.
That is why I have consistently called for consideration of reduced density of liquor outlets and an alcohol floor price to work in conjunction with the BDR.
The alcohol review is currently looking at these and Labor should commit to adopting all recommendations from this inquiry.
The trust deficit shrouding the Labor Government has widened following another disappointing Question Time performance.
The Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister both missed opportunities to dispel assertions they had misled Territorians.
The Chief Minister tried to wriggle away from a false answer he gave on radio when, in response to an explicit question about the number of ankle bracelets issued by police since March, he said: “Heaps.”
The correct answer is two – exposing the Chief Minister’s deceit on radio and his habit of answering questions without knowing the facts.
Alcohol services cuts undermine BDR: Higgins
LETTER TO THE EDITOR