The Banned Drinker Register and liquor inspectors will go under the microscope as a team of Australia's leading researchers take a closer look at the Northern Territory's extensive alcohol harm reduction measures.
The NT Government committed to a comprehensive evaluation of the measures, following the Riley review, which saw some of the biggest-ever changes to the Northern Territory's alcohol policies.
Last week, the Australian Research Council announced the research project proposal on Northern Territory Alcohol Reforms had been approved with funding of $1.19 million.
"The partnership between independent researchers and the Northern Territory Government will use the very best methods to ascertain what is working and how, as well as ensuring the voices of those impacted are heard and understood," Deakin University Professor Peter Miller said.
Leading the research, he said the funding is a major step forward in the evaluation of policy measures in place to save lives.
"This is also a substantial endorsement from the Australian Research Council on the collaboration between independent researchers and government to evaluate policy outcomes," Mr Miller said.
The project will investigate the long term impact of the Banned Drinker Register and other measures including the contingent of police liquor inspectors now manning bottle shops, which has worried some in the community.
Central Australian Aboriginal Congress chief executive, Donna Ah Chee said that it was vital that all measures are "robustly" evaluated.
"The Northern Territory has been leading the nation in alcohol policy reforms," she said.
"While the benefits of these alcohol measures are obvious to anyone who has lived in Alice Springs for any length of time there is a need to carefully look at the data and tease out the impact of the different measures."
She said it was especially important to examine the extent of the relationship between alcohol consumption, interpersonal violence and the potential impact on child protection and safety.
"This study has the resources and expertise needed to achieve this," she said.
The project involves an extensive team of national leaders in alcohol harm reduction policy and research, linking with Northern Territory clinical service providers to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the reforms.
The NT Government says its Alcohol Harm Minimisation Action Plan, which included the introduction of a floor price on alcohol, was designed to tackle alcohol related violence and crime by targeting problem drinkers.
"We are putting Territorians first with nation-leading alcohol policy and legislation to make our community safer," Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles said.
"There are early indications that our policies are having a positive impact.
"This research funding will provide a comprehensive evaluation of the Banned Drinker Register and other alcohol harm reduction reforms we have implemented."
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