Wednesday, June 26, 2024

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HomeVolume 29Mail orders not in grog stats

Mail orders not in grog stats

The NT police also has, per capita, three times more non-operational staff than the nation.


NT Government released Peak Alcohol Concentration (PAC) statistics – how much grog we drink expressed in litres of pure alcohol – don’t take into account online and other purchases from interstate or overseas.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the inconvenience shoppers are being put to by a string of supply restrictions, regulating the quantity that can be bought as well the times bottlos are permitted to be open, has driven many locals to online shopping.

Yet figures such as PAC are used by the government and some NGOs to justify the restrictions, a strategy that lacks credibility if the statistics are incomplete.

The most recent PAC figures are for the first three quarters of 2023 (the December quarter is not yet available). They show a 15% drop from 2022, but do not include mail orders.

A key feature of the restrictions is the Banned Drinkers Register enforced by police at bottle shops.

How many police? “Those are operational numbers and we’re unable to provide them,” says a police spokesperson.

Yet police numbers are set to become a prime issue for the August election, as it always is at election time in the NT, notwithstanding that the Territory has, per head of population, nearly three times more police officers compared with all of Australia (see Productivity Commission graph at top).


  1. I saw a virtually identical graph showing 2021 and 2022 inprisonment rates per 100,000 adults.
    The NT is again a clear “winner”.
    I understand statistics well enough to know that one shouldn’t jump to cause and effect conclusions, but it does make you wonder how much is over-policing a factor in high encarceration rates?
    And yes Erwin, we’re in for a serious election driven bout of “tough on crime” dog whistling.
    The recently elected CLP President makes that a certainty.

  2. I would have thought that online shopping for grog is a positive development, because it is generally considered to be available to those who are not the most vulnerable consumers, the majority of whom constitute the pathology which is the Territory’s shame.
    As far as “inconvenience shoppers” go, they want their cake and want to eat it too. Grog has submersed the NT into squalor and they feel inconvenienced? Pathetic.

  3. Surely this isn’t new. I have been away from Alice for three years and it was well established long before then.
    In fact I often heard jokes that Australia Post was the biggest alcohol distributor in town.
    It’s most likely the smallest. But people who buy online alcohol are most likely not the ones on the street, or turning up in court or in jail.
    They are most likely settled people with secure jobs, secure accommodation and credit cards with credit balances.
    [ED – It is likely that more of these owners of credit cards with credit balances are turning away from bottle shops because of what they regard as inconvenience.
    That gap may well be narrowed by those “on the street, or turning up in court or in jail” who rely on bottle shops. This makes PAC an unreliable measure of alcohol consumption and the results of restrictions.]

  4. Another issue is cask wine. Ideal for handling through the post and very economical but unavailable in the NT through retailers. Casks are also handy to bring back in the car if you go south.

  5. Mike Smith: My understanding is that it is illegal for any alcohol wholesalers to send or bring cheap cask wine to Central Australia.
    All alcohol wholesalers wishing to sell alcohol into the NT are obliged to register with the Liquor Licencing Commission and to comply with any local laws or rules, or risk very substantial fines.


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