Wowser games?


p2351 Robyn Lambley OKLETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir –The NT Government is hell bent on destroying two of the greatest events in Alice Springs, the Masters Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
The Government intends to restrict the sale of alcohol at these two events to ONLY light and mid strength beer.
This mean if you drink wine or spirits you are in for a dry night, impacting on the relaxation and enjoyment of Masters Games patrons who come from all around the world to enjoy this special week of Alice Springs hospitality.
In previous Masters Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies patrons have had the usual choice of beer, wine and spirit mixes.
p2358-masters-games-5-okLicensing has also only issued one liquor licence for these two events, which has meant that the local Apex club has been forced to pull out. The Alice Springs Golf Club is the only club that has been issued a licence to serve alcohol at the opening and closing ceremonies.
This is just the start of what the Gunner Government has in store for liquor restrictions in Alice Springs.
In the coming months we will see further restrictions to how much we can buy and when we can buy it.
The Gunner Government has no consideration or care as to how these tough liquor restrictions impact on the whole town – our economy, our tourism and the success of our major events.
These restriction on the Masters Games are not targeting the problem drinkers.
Welcome to the Nanny state.
The question has to be asked, will similar liquor restrictions be introduced into Darwin. I very much doubt it.
Robyn Lambley MLA
Independent Member for Araluen


  1. Maybe the Chief Minister of the NT is suffering from early dementia because he has lost the plot or he has something against Alice Springs (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

  2. How Crazy!
    The Masters Games is about people enjoying a drink with their sporting colleagues whatever culture they may come from.
    People are playing sport so are not intending to get blind drunk (they have a sporting commitment to fulfill) but enjoy a couple of drinks with people who come to Alice every two years for a fun time!
    I can’t believe that this is happening.
    I’ll be telling my friends let’s not even go to the ceremonies and go elsewhere, especially as we don’t drink beer!
    This will not go down well for so many people who are paying big money to fly here, pay accommodation costs, participate, contribute to our economy while here and are returning to Alice Springs because they had such a fun time previously.
    Is this an NT Goverment decision? As you are ridiculous if this is the case!

  3. Very dissaponted after 20 years of doing a bar to raise funds and from all of this the community will lose out.
    This is a major fund raiser for our club, this is 30+k out of our budget that we won’t be spending on the community or service projects in Central Australia.
    The ramifications are serous, and governments wonder why service clubs and volunteers disappear out of communities.
    Here’s an example why.

  4. Surely this is fake news! Sadly I fear it is not.
    Try that in Darwin Mr Gunner, they would lynch you.
    Apex will miss out on the money they put to good use and returns the golf club has relied on through recent difficult times will be down.
    What will our interstate and overseas guests make of it?
    Will this stunningly stupid Gunner decree stop the inevitable property damage and theft that will escalate as more soft targets present through the games?
    Another nail in the coffin for Alice Springs.

  5. Well done NT Government.
    We are pulling out our team that we had organised to participate in the Masters Games.
    Will not even consider participating again until full strength beer, wine and spirits are back on the menu.
    We will take our money elsewhere.
    Sorry to the hard working event organizers.

  6. The hysterical reaction to light and mid-strength beer as the tipple of choice at the Masters Games has nothing to do with whether a similar action would be sanctioned in Darwin.
    It’s a cautious response to a culture of alcohol which sees twice the national average of consumption in the NT and a reflection of alcohol associated trauma interstate from a self-regulating industry that has had its claws clipped.
    The Gunner Government has made inroads at the point of supply with a floor price, introduced after long evidence of similar restrictions in Alice Springs and overseas shows a lowering of harmful levels of consumption.
    Now that they are beginning to focus on the long outfall pipe that pumps into the rivers of grog via seven days a week takeaway, some people call foul.
    Take one for the team – drink light.

  7. I thought the Government was supposes to make decisions for the benefit of the people and local economy.
    This is a good way to destroy our local economy and ruin the fine reputation of the games.
    I guess people will just focus on the other masters games over in QLD. Thanks Gunner mob.

  8. Alcohol consumption is a matter of individual choice and the individual’s compliance with the respected maxims of social responsibility.
    If health-conscious sportspeople who are entering middle age and senior citizens are banned by any government from free choice at any time before, during and at the completion of the Masters Games, then what person of any age group can ever be trusted to drink full strength beer at any time on any social occasion?
    I agree with Ms Lambley.
    This is a bizarre decision, made by a wowser nanny state government.

  9. People coming for the Masters have to pay a lot of money for travel and accommodation as well registration fees.
    For locals there are the fees which people don’t mind paying to participate but this decision may cost us our future games.
    The amount of money Alice gets because of these events are high and each of the clubs usually will make money for their club with the sale of drinks, food and raffles and these profits will pay for all sorts of things the organisations need, such as maintenance, juniors etc.
    But that won’t be the case when there are stupid decisions like this.
    I believe there is no soccer this year, less money even it was just locals playing.
    We have bad enough reputation in the press as it is so that is not going to help now and the future.
    Since when has the Masters had issues with competitors in the past with alcohol?
    Isn’t discrimination that people can buy beer but not wine as I know people who do not drink beer. Masters followers go to these event to enjoy, have something to drink then go on to have a good week.
    The other thing of course is many other towns now have Masters Games, so it makes sense to just go to the nearest one to their home.
    Alice Springs Masters have always been known as the friendly games, not the laughing stock games!

  10. Russel, why only light beer? there is a nice Lindeman’s low alcohol wine (early harvest), for the ones who do not like beer.
    Let Apex sell the wine and the Golf Club the beer.
    Apex does a lot for the community and must be part of community events.

  11. @ Evelyne Roullet. Posted 27th September, 2018. 1:07pm.
    Evelyne, the thrust of the government’s action is, as I see it, to reduce the amount of alcohol circulating within the community to levels where some control can be taken over what has become a right, rather than a privilege, at least for those not caught in the generational cycle of alcoholism.
    All societies have the desire to live with protection from violence and exploitation. The Gunner Government’s thrust into the decades long trauma of harmful levels of alcohol consumption in the Central Australian community is prosecuting an observation made in the 1930s by bushmen such as R. M. Williams and other community-minded individuals for all Territorians.
    It is also a proactive measure to restore the tourist industry.
    Many of those crying foul over this decision to limit alcohol availability to a largely-European sports event for seniors, miss the point that the majority of international tourists, in my experience, are shocked at the alcoholism prevalent in the Indigenous population on which so much of tourism rests.
    The alcohol industry has never come to terms with this fact.
    Australia has a problem with alcohol at all levels, including advertising at sports events in which children are groomed to drink.
    The privileged complaint is out of all proportion to what the NT government is trying to achieve, with some degree of bipartisan support, at the critical level of supply. Tackling takeaway grog is overdue.
    Outlets are policed by taxpayer funds.
    There are non-alcoholic beverages that could be sold and with a little imagination various food items offered to make the money that the service organisations are after. Nothing will change, unless a change in the culture of alcoholism occurs.
    The NT government should be applauded for taking the initiative.
    I believe this is an excellent move to promote the NT.

  12. Black ban the opening and closing ceremonies. Meet up and enjoy a responsible drink with friends and colleagues elsewhere. We are all being dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.

  13. Everyone has their own opinion I understand, but personally, having to go without full strength alcohol for a few hours … really.
    But I am annoyed that Apex lose a chance to make some money though. Couldn’t the Gunner Government have given the licence to them instead?

  14. I’m with you, Russell Guy.
    The venomous responses of every other response so far shows just how addicted we are to alcohol in Alice Springs and how engrained it is in our so-called culture.
    You’d think we were in America, promoting gun control.

  15. Come on now Domenico, you can’t make the assumption all the people making these comments are addicts. I think you will find they are just upset the actions of a few are resulting in the punishment of all. It is beyond ridiculous remotely comparing these comments to gun control.

  16. Great move. Now for the 2020 Masters whereby alcoholic drinks are completely out and soft drinks are sugar free.
    Then aim for 2022 where the tipple of choice will be distilled water and fat free food.
    Glad to see wine drinkers have gone cold turkey from the get go. Just hope those in the VIP area embrace the changes with enthusiasm.

  17. @ Domenico: I’m not an addicted but I am a fair dinkum Aussie who deplores the problems caused by the alcohol but I came to Australia to run away from dictators.
    There is more to it, and no one has oficially been told: Alice Springs has been declared dry area by the government and wines clubs cannot deliver to the residents any longer!
    Make Alice a dry town but close all liquor outlets including restaurants and pubs and I will understand and not complain.
    But why do I have to be obliged to go to a shop to buy my wines.
    I am the holder of a certificate of citizenship stating that from the 30th August 1973 I become entitled to all political and other rights, powers and privileges to which an Australian citizen is entitled.
    Should the government have told us that we are in a foreign country?

  18. PS: Does Gunner realises how embarrassing it is to be told by your club that you cannot buy wines, beers and spirits any longer?

  19. @ James T Smerk. Posted September 28, 2018 at 6:43 pm: You must be a very late-comer to the debate about the need for restrictions on the sale of alcohol and overall harmful levels of consumption.
    Dragging out the old adage, “the actions of a few resulting in the punishment of all” is quaint.
    The NT has twice the national average consumption of alcohol, with the subsequent hospital, police and other government resources contributing to a taxpayer burden endured by the many, including more than a few who don’t drink.
    If you think that the alcohol industry is not about increasing their levels of profit through new product and sales, then you should think carefully about what you are advocating by maintaining the status quo.
    I say it again: nothing will change unless the culture of alcoholism changes. Take one for the team, drink light!

  20. Yes, James, and this is not going to stop the problem drinkers: 1. Because they do not go the games. 2. They do not order online.
    I can see this open the door to the black market, more home brew making without proper sterilisation = more sickness.
    I could go back to back to my first trade, making Vodka or Schnapps from potato, or champagne from Elder flower, and go in the park under a sign “alcohol free area” to sell to the alcoholics who gather there every night.

  21. No grog??? I would not have a issue going along with this no grog plan if it attacked the problem of regular drunks and the side effects thereof.
    One can see more drunks in one night along Mitchell Stgreet in Darwin than will be seen the whole of the Masters Games period.
    What are you doing about that?
    Very little because you are in the pockets of the AHA and liquor industry and they control what goes on in Darwin.

  22. @ James T Smirk: Although the people making these comments are not necessarily addicted to alcohol itself, they are certainly addicted to a particular attitude regarding alcohol, that of having a right to drink whatever they want, whenever they want.
    The similarity to having a “right to bear arms” is a pretty obvious one, I’d have thought.
    Russell is right in saying that a cultural change is needed, and most of the comments on this story show how far we still have to go.


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