Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Tackling alcohol abuse in Alice Springs

Joint Media Release with:

  • Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health, Member for Lingiari

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin and the Minister for Indigenous Health Warren Snowdon today met with community representatives in Alice Springs to discuss the Gillard Government’s plans to help tackle alcohol abuse in Alice Springs.

Ms Macklin said it was clear community representatives shared the Gillard Government’s concerns about the devastating effect alcohol abuse was still having on too many families in Alice Springs.

“I have asked the Northern Territory Government to support my proposal for assessors to look at two licensed premises in Alice Springs,” Ms Macklin said.

“These assessors will look at the licensing and business practices of the venues, and whether they are causing harm to the community.

“If they are, the assessors would be expected to make recommendations around what should be done to improve their practices, or change the conditions under which they operate.

“We want to work with the Northern Territory Government to tackle alcohol abuse.

“However, if the Northern Territory Government is unwilling to meet their responsibilities, the Australian Government is prepared to meet ours.”

Mr Snowdon said the Gillard Government will always put the put the interests of Indigenous children first and the alcohol industry second.

“The Northern Territory Government scrapped the Banned Drinker’s Register without having anything to fill the gap it has left,” Mr Snowden said.

“This means that the approximately 2000 people who had alcohol related convictions and were on the Register were again given access to large amounts of alcohol purchased from take-away outlets.”

Ms Macklin and Mr Snowdon met with members of the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition and Congress Safe and Sober Service and Family Support workers today.

As part of Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory, the Government is committing $76 million to help tackle alcohol abuse over the next 10 years.

This includes funding to employ extra drug and alcohol workers where they are needed most.

The Gillard Government will continue to work with Aboriginal people and the community of Alice Springs to tackle alcohol abuse.