In Health

Northern Territory Minister for Business David Tollner

Time To Address Addiction; Not Supply

Victor P Taffa

Minister for Business David Tollner has hit back at claims the Northern Territory Government needs to do more in relation to the supply and licensing of alcohol.

Mr. Tollner said the Territory already had the toughest licensing and supply restrictions in place across the country, and the Giles Government would continue to strongly enforce the current laws to deal with problem drunks.

“We need to work with the tough laws that we have and concentrate on getting the problem drinkers off the streets, rehabilitate them and reduce their dependence on alcohol.” Mr. Tollner said.

“It’s important to address the cause of the problems faced by repeat problem drinkers rather than punish all Territorians by restricting licenses and reducing alcohol supply. The measures announced last week target problem drunks who are disrupting businesses, affecting local neighbourhoods and harming themselves.”

Across the Territory there are trading hour restrictions, limitations on products that can be purchased at liquor outlets and more than 100 general restricted areas where it is illegal to possess or consume alcohol without a liquor permit.

Alcohol Management Plans are in place in more than 40 communities allowing for local responses and solutions. Liquor Accords with local communities develop safe and well managed environments in and around licensed premises and voluntary liquor restrictions are enforced for special events such as sporting matches.

The failed Banned Drinker Register under Delia Lawrie’s former Labor Government did nothing to help problem drinkers.

“The Opposition Leader says 2,500 problem drinkers were on the BDR, but they were still able to obtain alcohol and there was no treatment pathway to help them with their addiction.”

Mr. Tollner praised the work of NT Police who worked tirelessly across the Territory.

“I praise the hard work of Police officers in enforcing the current tough laws on anti-social behaviour including their work with the recent Operation Elektra.” Mr. Tollner said.

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