Shadow Minister for Health
Shadow Minister for Town Camps
BILL YAN MLA
LABOR HAVE NO PLAN IN ADDRESSING ALCOHOL IN COMMUNITIES
Shadow Minister for Health and Town Camps, Bill Yan, says the Gunner Labor Government has no plans to prevent the ‘rivers of grog’ flowing into communities with the Federal Government’s Stronger Futures alcohol management intervention finishing in July.
“The Labor Government has had nearly five years since the Riley Review was concluded to formulate alcohol management plans with communities and town camps. Now, at the eleventh hour, we learn that there is no plan. Instead, after 30 June booze will flow into communities already besieged by alcohol-related violence unless those communities formally request that alcohol be prohibited—pursuant to a process that is not clearly defined.
“When questioned on radio, the Minister for Alcohol Policy, Natasha Fyles, was unable to articulate any plan to manage the snap end to alcohol restrictions. This is extremely concerning, given that so far this year there have been 849 more alcohol-involved assault as compared with 2017 across the Territory.
“The Riley Review called for the Government to sit down and work with individual town camps and discuss plans for tackling alcohol supply and abuse after the Stronger Futures management plan had come to an end. To date the Gunner Government cannot name any town camps where this has taken place.
“With domestic violence incidents 28 per cent higher than in 2017, this failure of planning by the Gunner Labor Government poses an immediate risk to the most vulnerable Territorians.
“The Gunner Government has failed to provide a meaningful framework for communities to decide whether or not they stay dry, there has been no additional ‘living with alcohol’ programs or support and rehabilitation is virtually non-existent.
“For two years the CLP has been calling on Government to outline its consultation with communities – for 10 years we have known that 30 June 2022 would come and yet for the last five years they have done nothing. If the Labor Government had started the consultation and planning process sooner the communities would have more control over the outcome.
“Any increase in alcohol-related violence will be directly attributable to the Gunner Government’s lack of planning. Police are stretched to the limit and remote health clinics are understaffed while some have been closed. Labor is asking communities to make critical decisions that directly affects the lives of people without the consultation and support they need to handle this potentially disastrous situation. Labor is pulling the rug out from beneath the very people they say they are trying to help,” said Mr Yan.