Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson has called for a total ban on alcohol across the Northern Territory.
Yesterday, at a NT Parliament meeting, Ms Nelson said the Liquor Amendment Bill, which puts a floor price of $1.30 on each standard drink, was not enough.
“(Alcohol) affects the economy, health and well being of families and children, and the harmonious functioning of our communities,” Ms Nelson said.
“There are more than likely a number of people in the NT who should be relieved I am not the minister responsible for anything related to alcohol.
“If I were, I would be banning alcohol until all the problems caused by, or exacerbated by, alcohol are sorted.”
An initiative under the NT Government’s Alcohol Harm Minimisation Action Plan 2018-19, the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol, aims to minimise the harms associated with high-alcohol, low-cost alcoholic beverages.
“Here we are, talking about alcohol and introducing another piece of legislation,” Ms Nelson said.
“I hear about it every day in my electorate from local residents, first responders like police and paramedics, and people who want to see children and families prosper like teachers and child protection workers.
“I am sick of talking about it.
“We could make real inroads in these areas; reducing the trauma for families and communities across the Northern Territory. At times it feels like we are spinning our wheels in the mud. We do not have to look hard to see what the police think about alcohol,” she said.
Read more: First NT liquor inspectors graduate
During yesterday’s debate Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he is passionate about the many measures currently being taken to tackle the abuse of alcohol.
Parliament is in the middle of consider whether to set a minimum price of $1.30 per unit of alcohol, meaning bottles of wine in the NT couldn't be sold for less than about $9.
“People should not be able to buy a bottle of wine for less than the price of a bottle of water,” Mr Gunner said.
“This is not about being a wowser. Having a social and responsible drink with family and friends is a relaxing and fun part of our fantastic Territory lifestyle.
“But alcohol abuse by far too many people simply has to stop.
“As Chief Minister, I cannot be half-hearted in tackling the issue of problem drinking. I want to be able to look every Territorian in the eye and say we genuinely had a real crack at fixing this problem,” he said.
According to the NT alcohol policy review published in October 2017, the Territory has the highest per capita consumption of alcohol in Australia and one of the highest in the world.
If you want to read Sandra’s full speech, head to her Facebook page,
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