The Central Land Council has thrown its support behind the reintroduction of the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) and called for additional support for families affected by the Northern Territory’s extreme rate of alcohol consumption.
The CLC delegates, who met at Ross River, east of Alice Springs, called for the phasing out of the racially discriminatory Temporary Beat Locations (TBL) policy.
In their discussion with the People’s Alcohol Action Coalition, CLC delegates voiced their expectation that police resources freed up by the abolition of the TBL will be redirected to tackling the illicit grog trade.
The delegates passed the following resolution:
The Central Land Council acknowledges the devastating effects of alcohol on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal families and communities. Alcoholism is a disease, not a criminal offence. Alcohol policy should treat all people the same and not discriminate.
The CLC calls for:
*The TBL to be phased out, and for police to deal only with alcohol issues, not other offences or warrants on the temporary beat;
*The BDR to be reintroduced in a way that targets problem drinkers and those with alcohol-related offences;
*More support and rehabilitation services for individuals and families living in town and remote communities who are struggling with alcohol issues;
*More education for young women and their families about the impact of alcohol and the risk of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder;
*Greater transparency about and access to the process of seeking a permit or exemption for a dry area.