The Great Alcohol Debate: Most developed countries have long ago turned their back on forcing detox and treatment
"Forced detoxification" is neither "effective" nor "ethically acceptable" as a way of treating addiction, according to an editorial published under the name of 10 Australian and international researchers in the latest issue of Addictions, the top international journal of addiction studies. The editorial mainly takes aim at the compulsory detention and forced detox of drug users in developing countries but gives a brief overview of the approach in the developed world. Some of its points have relevance for the current debate in the Northern Territory on compulsory rehab for problem drinkers as proposed by the Country Liberal Government. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
"This is an exhibition about my home, Papunya, and my law and culture, and about my youthful years, when I sat with all my dear fathers and uncles and grandfathers, and watched them as they painted the first boards and early canvases in Papunya and its camps ... But it is also an exhibition about Alice Springs, the town that first saw and appreciated and loved western desert art ... This exhibition is a bridge between these two worlds: a precious bridge."
Alison Anderson, Papunya's most famous daughter and now NT Minister for Indigenous Advancement and Regional Development, today added her own "unique perspective" to the exhibition of that name, mostly drawn from local private collections, that she opened at the Araluen Arts Centre. She called on those who love the art to be happy with its "beautiful surface", to not try "to see behind the veil", to not delve into its "inner secrets". (Ms Anderson is pictured speaking with visitors to the show.)
Australia’s first underground rock salt mine is one step closer, with Tellus Holdings starting the environmental approvals process with the Territory and Australian Governments, including extensive community and stakeholder consultation, writes it managing director, Duncan van der Merwe.
Forty years ago to the day yesterday Papunya Tula Artists was registered as a company in the Northern Territory. Its cultural triumph over those decades barely needs restating. Right now master works from its founding years are the subject of a major exhibition at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. Two of its artists, Walimpirrgna Tjapaltjarri and the late Doreen Reid Nakamarra were featured in Documenta at Kassel in Germany earlier this year. Some of that brilliance is also there in the anniversary show that opened last night at the company's elegant gallery in downtown Alice Springs. Words by KIERAN FINNANE, video by ERWIN CHLANDA.
Pictured: Senior artist and past company chairman Bobby West Tjupurrula.
The river bed of the Todd is more stable than many assume. I have two photos taken from exactly the same vantage point on Meyers Hill (originally called Nannygoat Hill). The first was by John Flynn in 1926. I took the second this year. In my photo there is a prominent "island" covered in buffel grass on the eastern side of the riverbed. This island is also observable in Flynn's photograph, although it was devoid of vegetation at the time. ALEX NELSON comments.
At left: John Flynn's photograph, held by the National Library of Australia.
A work program giving Aboriginal people accredited skills in horticulture is also in the process of "cleaning up" 21 registered sacred sites around town, including this important caterpillar site at 6 Gap Road, opposite the hospital. Works supervisor is John Stuart Newchurch, an Arrernte custodian for Alice Springs. The program is the result of collaboration between custodians and the Olive Pink Botanic Garden, supported by funding from the Australian and Territory Governments. But the Town Council, being asked only for in-kind support, is reluctant to get on board. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: John Newchurch (centre) and trainee Richard Moore spraying buffel grass at 6 Gap Road this week.
The Northern Territory Government’s proposal to radically expand mandatory sentencing is unfair, unprincipled, unworkable, unnecessary and unaffordable, writes Russell Goldflam, president of the Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory.
Cr Eli Melky is standing by comments he made at Monday's town council meeting about price gouging by the accommodation industry during the Masters Games, but Tourism Central Australia (TCA) says it is common practice to vary rates according to demand. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Cr Melky as a competitor on the Masters Games website: See you in 2014? Maybe not.
The local tourism industry is in a prolonged crisis but it has no voice. Two members of the Town Council are making damaging allegations of price gouging by hotels, threatening the future of the Masters Games, but Tourism Central Australia (TCA) is mum. No answer to our request for comment 24 hours ago.
In her drawings showing at Araluen, Neridah Stockley allows her enquiring eye to alight on what is around her – in the studio, the shed, the kitchen – and to lead the pencil in her discerning hand towards the essential line, form, pattern to be found there. The same approach is used in her landscape drawings and drypoints. Just how far does the mark-making have to go to get to its 'destination'? KIERAN FINNANE reviews and speaks to the artist.
The most recent expert study on alcohol and the various attempts over the years to reduce its harms in Central Australia again claims – based on statistical information – that per capita consumption and hence alcohol-related harms are on their way down. Interestingly, consumption in The Centre, widely thought to be the nation's basket-case when it comes to grog, is actually lower now than Greater Darwin's. Some might think that is cause for a modest celebration. KIERAN FINNANE looks at how the report deals with typical objections to the data and at what it has found.
Pictured: Police tipping out grog being consumed in a public place. The report found that declaration of Alice as a Dry Town did not have any significant effect on reducing consumption of alcohol. Photo from our archive, taken in early 2008.
Councillor Eli Melky has criticised the local commercial accommodation industry for raising its tariffs to double and triple the normal rates during the Masters Games. Speaking at last night's council meeting, he said such a practice threatens the sustainability of the games. KIERAN FINNANE reports.