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NT government extends alcohol restrictions in Alice Springs

Callan Morse -

Three months after implementation, the Northern Territory Government has extended takeaway alcohol restrictions in Alice Springs.

The restrictions were implemented after snap limitations on alcohol sales were introduced in late January.

The restrictions were applied in response to a significant spike in crime and antisocial behaviour in the central Australian town, which lead to the Northern Territory Government reverting to legislated alcohol bans in mid-February.

Since restrictions were implemented, alcohol-related emergency department presentations at Alice Springs hospital have almost halved, with domestic violence dropping by a third in the month since takeaway alcohol restrictions were introduced.

Northern Territory Chief Minister and Minister for Alcohol Policy Natasha Fyles said the restrictions are part of a broader plan to address alcohol-related harm in the Territory.

"Alcohol-related harm is one of the Territory's biggest social challenges and no government has done more to curb this issue," she said.

Following the Federal Government's $250 million investment into the region, the Northern Territory government will continue to work with the Office of the Central Australian Regional Controller to "improve services and liveability" for people in central Australia.

"From risk based licensing to the Banned Drinkers Register, from the minimum floor price to our Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors, and with record funding for alcohol treatment services and domestic, family and sexual violence, we continue to invest heavily in this space," Ms Fyles said.

In the meantime, the Territory government will continue to implement restrictions under Section 88 of the Liquor Act.

They include one sale per day per person, following industry guidance, alcohol free days on Monday and Tuesday for takeaway purchases, and limiting hours of alcohol being sold between 3pm and 7pm, except for Saturdays.

Ms Fyles said extending restrictions would provide an opportunity to enact the Federal government's investment into the region.

"Continuing these alcohol restrictions will allow us to further implement the Federal government's $250 million investment into Alice Springs," she said.

The Northern Territory government says data will be "closely monitored" to inform future policy.

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