LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – Early signs indicate the Territory Labor Government’s comprehensive alcohol reforms are working, with significant reductions in crime and hospital admissions recorded in the last year across the NT.
In the one year since the NT released its response to the Riley Review, a progress update shows the Government’s tough alcohol measures have led to:–
• A 44% reduction in alcohol-related assaults in Alice Springs between September and December 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.
• A 24.5% decrease in alcohol-related Emergency Department presentations in NT hospitals in December 2018 compared to December 2017.
• More than 3,000 litres of alcohol marked for illegal secondary supply being seized by police since the creation of the Alcohol Policing Unit.
• A crackdown on licensees doing the wrong thing, with the Police Commissioner suspending five Liquor Licences since June 2018 – protecting the community from the crime this causes.
The alcohol measures include additional frontline cops and police liquor inspectors, the introduction of the Banned Drinkers Register, an Independent Liquor Commission, a minimum floor price and tough new police powers to suspend liquor licenses and target secondary supply.
The report shows 75 of the 219 accepted recommendations in the Riley Review have been implemented, with work continuing on the rest.
Further, research conducted by the Menzies School of Health Research shows the social and economic cost of alcohol-related harm in the NT has increased from $642m in 2009 to $1.38bn per year.
Territorians can access both reports as well as view data on the five key indicators of alcohol harm minimisation at alcoholreform.nt.gov.au
While these results are promising and show the Territory Government’s alcohol policies are working, there is still more to do to cut crime and cut the cost of alcohol abuse on the budget.
Attorney-General, Minister for Health