The new Opposition Leader's feverish outburst, calling for the alcohol floor price to be dropped because she had heard from alcohol outlets that people were buying more grog, was ill-advised, writes Dr John Boffa (pictured) of the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition.
1 Territory likes its chances as Michael Gunner's ballooning deficit and hapless policies such as the alcohol floor price mirror the Adam Giles fiasco. ERWIN CHLANDA speaks with the party's vice-president, Sue Fraser Adams (pictured).
The latest alcohol initiative seems safe from being in conflict with the Australian Constitution's requirement for trade between states to be "absolutely free". However, beer sellers may gain an illegal advantage from the sharply increased cost of cheap wines from interstate under the floor price law which came into effect in the NT this month. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
... but will not answer questions about the measure's possible violation of the Australian Constitution. Under fire: Opposition Leader Gary Higgins (at left). Meanwhile Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Natasha Fyles (at right), says Territorians who feel they are potentially being price gouged by alcohol retailers should notify consumer affairs. Report by ERWIN CHLANDA.
An initiative by the Federal Government could open doors to permitting alcohol in communities that are currently dry, while assessors will be checking Alice pubs to see if they are causing harm. The final form of the Alcohol Management Plans, part of the 10-year, $3.4 billion Stronger Futures in the NT package, was announced by Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin. She is pictured in Alice Springs with Rosalie Kunoth Monks at the Centre for Appropriate Technology after unveiling a $4.36m program to upgrade infrastructure in the Utopia homelands. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. UPDATED at 4.30pm on Wednesday.
If the new town council's Gang of Four – Steve Brown, Eli Melky, Dave Douglas and Geoff Booth – act as block they will need an extra vote to achieve a majority and that vote is most likely to come from Liz Martin (at left) or Brendan Heenan (above).
Both were re-elected, clearly are of a similar mindset to the Four on many issues, and also operate businesses.
In fact they are top performers in the vital yet currently seriously depressed tourism industry: Councillor (Cr) Martin runs the National Road Transport Hall of Fame. While last year saw the shutters going down for many businesses in the CBD, Cr Martin says the Hall had its best year ever. She's just signed a $1m deal to build a display hall for Mack and Volvo trucks, rivaling the existing Kenworth complex. And Cr Heenan's MacDonnell Range Tourist Park is like a small, very well run town that wins Brolgas year after year.
At least one council project, spending the $5m NT Government grant for rejigging the CBD, is facing delays not of council making: no-one knows where many of the underground water, electricity and sewage mains are located, so there's no start date in sight for any digging. How could the new council break though on that front and what else can we expect from the holders of the balance of power in the 12th Town Council? ERWIN CHLANDA talked with them over the Easter weekend.