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.