Katherine’s well regarded GP, Dr P.J. Spafford is concerned about the approach to law-abiding citizens by the town’s liquor inspectors.
There is some concern the bottle shop questioning is too intrusive.
In a social media post to the Katherine Times this week, a reader suggested the police needed to embark on an education campaign on this change in alcohol buying policy.
Dr Spafford listed his concerns in a letter to us.
In the interests of community debate, and education, we have included his full letter below.
From Dr P.J. Spafford.
“The Katherine Grog Busters (KGB) placed in bottle shops are intimidating and I believe overstepping the mark of decency and human rights. They stand there, two or three, heavily armed, looming over potential customers and insinuating that everyone is a grog runner.
“They input details on an i-Pad while eying you suspiciously, but will not tell you what they are inputting nor what information is on the system that they have access to. They say it is “Police Information”. Secret Police information that you, as the accused, have no right to see.
“I find it offensive as a law-abiding citizen of legal age, I go to a legal retailer, selling a legal product, from legal manufacturers, and I am treated like I am doing something wrong.
“You have to say that you are going to drink what you buy at the address on your licence, or more questions and accusations follow. So what happens if you give that bottle of wine to someone as a birthday present? Or you take a 6 pack to a mate’s BBQ? Or a carton on a fishing trip? Even to give a carton to someone as a Territory thank you, you have now lied to the police. What will be the charge? What will be the punishment? All very scary.
“This level of intimidation and accusation is reminiscent of the Brown Shirts used by Hitler to menace to population. It is way over the top.
“Perhaps the grog runners become drug runners, selling illegal substances from dubious manufacturers to under-age minors, because then the government will assist by testing the substance to make sure it is safe.
“This Government is crazy, unbalanced and oppressive. They are killing the Territory by insinuating we are all criminals. Growing the economy and encouraging people to move here, does not start with making it a Police State.”
- Dr P.J. Spafford, Katherine.
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