Drinkers in Central Australia face tough new sales restrictions on takeaway alcohol as the Northern Territory government scrambles to curb rising juvenile delinquency Alice feathers.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met with territory leaders late Tuesday in the remote town, with many locals fed up with the violence and calling for federal intervention.
He was joined by Linda Burney, Minister for Indigenous Australians, who, along with NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles, announced that the restrictions were intended to curb anti-social activities.
They include a three-month ban on the sale of take-out alcohol in the region on Mondays and Tuesdays and reduced hours on other days, with a limit of one purchase per person per day.
“Yesterday was the start of some very direct action and it will not be the end. We stay with this all the time,” Burney said on Wednesday.
A central Australian long-term alcohol management plan will also be developed to address the region’s “complex issues”. They include alcohol fueled violence, unemployment and youth on the streets.
A Central Australian Regional Controller has been appointed to ensure that all levels of government work together to deliver services to the community.
The comptroller, Dorrelle Anderson, will also review the opt-in alcohol restrictions, which replaced the expired Intervention-inspired liquor bans last year, and consider whether opt-out bans should be implemented.
Alice Springs Mayor Matt Paterson said Alice Springs had two major problems: alcohol and antisocial behavior.
“I’m pretty speechless to be honest. We asked for a circuit breaker and hopefully this is it. Do I think this is all it takes? No, I don’t,” he told the TSTIME on Wednesday.
“We are going back to [strict rules on alcohol under] Stronger Futures, we knew that worked. The government was begged not to let that lapse and unfortunately it has lapsed.”
Mr Albanese has also pledged to spend millions of additional dollars to strengthen security, including better street lighting, provide emergency shelters for victims of domestic violence and continue community services in Alice feathers and the region.
NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles took aim at opposition leader Peter Dutton, whom she accused of playing politics with the issue.
“[He] was part of the coalition cabinet that sat there and allowed the Stronger Futures Act to lapse in the Northern Territory. Yet he has played politics with this issue for the past few weeks without even coming over,” she said on Tuesday.
– with AAP