Licensing Commission cites Briscoe Inquest findings on excessive alcohol consumption in Alice Springs
Gapview Hotel has been knocked back for a second time on a request to vary its take-away trading hours during the Masters Games. The reasons for decision cite the Coroner's findings in the Briscoe Inquest that “a long term solution to excessive alcohol consumption in Alice Springs requires greater cooperation amongst stakeholders (including outlets that sell alcohol)”.
In another recent decision the Commission dismissed the objection of a Department of Health officer to an application to vary the licence of the Wuduluk Progress Aboriginal Corporation to sell alcohol at the Beswick Community Store. This decision has relevance to the issues of take-away versus on-premise drinking and to the idea of 'wet canteens' on Aboriginal communities. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
At tomorrow's meeting of stakeholders about alcohol issues in Alice Springs, we can expect that all the facts will be on the table. But the public will be in the dark about at least one of them: the number of protective custodies this year compared to last. That will become public knowledge later this month, when the NT Police Annual Report is tabled, but until then NT Police are declining to release the figures. The Alice Springs News Online has asked for them following a reader's post which suggested that they had halved this winter compared to last, evidence that the Banned Drinkers Register (rolled out from July last year and with 2491 people registered as at June 30, 2012) was taking effect. However, we have been fobbed off. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
UPDATE, September 18, 3.30pm: Shadow Minister for Police Kon Vatskalis has called on the CLP Government to implement Coroner Greg Cavanagh's recommendation regarding reducing the supply of excess alcohol from take away outlets. However, he puts his own gloss on what that would mean: reinstating the Banned Drinker Register ... read more in FULL STORY.
Chief Minister Terry Mills has side-stepped Coroner Greg Cavanagh's recommendation that an urgent meeting of stakeholders be convened in Alice Springs to commit to "all available, reasonable measures to reduce the supply of excess alcohol from take away outlets". As reported yesterday, this was one of two recommendations to government made by the Coroner in handing down his findings from the inquest into the death in custody of Kwemetyaye Briscoe.
Mr Mills' response in a media release focussed on "the need for cultural change within the Northern Territory police force". On the issue of alcohol control, Mr Mills said only that the "Country Liberals will increase the focus on mandatory rehabilitation". KIERAN FINNANE reports.