A spokesperson for Families Minister Dale Wakefield says there are talks with the newly renovated Youth Centre and the functions of the new Youth Outreach Centre are being developed. It will take NT and local governments as well as NGOs to deal with the problem. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
A series of amendments to the Territory’s Alcohol Mandatory Treatment legislation will strengthen and re-enforce the Government’s ground-breaking measures to help problem drinkers fight addiction, writes Robyn Lambley, Minister for Alcohol Rehabilitation.
The slamming – his word – by Chief Minister Adam Giles of Prime Minister Julia Gillard for her "loosely veiled threat to cut funding to the Territory if the Government doesn’t reinstate the failed Banned Drinkers Register" would have a great deal more credibility if the NT police, for which he has responsibility, provided information that would make the BDR debate much better informed.COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA. PICTURED: The leaked document. It seems to show a 50%, not nearly a 100%, increase in hospital admissions.
This week's Food for Thought is by RUSSELL GUY, commentator, writer and music promoter in Central Australia's outback for 31 years. He is a frequent contributor to the comment sections of the Alice Springs News Online. He is also a keen aviator where "eight hours from bottle to throttle" is an unbending rule for pilots in command of an aircraft.
In 2006 – 2007, Australians aged 15 and over consumed on average almost 10 litres of pure alcohol per head. In comparison, average consumption in the NT by the non-indigenous population was over 14 litres, and for indigenous it was more than 16 litres, but Alice Springs is way out in front at around 20 litres per head.
The NT Government says 70% of all alcohol sold in the NT is sold as take-away liquor and that hospitalisation rates due to alcohol are the highest in Australia. The same research relates that alcohol-related deaths occur in the NT at about 3.5 times the rate they do nationally. 55% of road deaths are caused by high-risk drinking in the NT and that in 2009, there were 54,000 incidents of people taken into protective custody due to alcohol misuse. Adults who consumed alcohol, 30% reported drinking alcohol at a risky or high risk level and added that if the NT were a country, then it would be up amongst those countries in the world with the highest rates of per capita consumption. Many studies have identified the correlation between high levels of alcohol consumption and shortened life expectancy.
Is it any wonder booze is shaping up as one of the main issues in the run-up to the local government elections next month?