While community health organisations welcomed the announcement that the planned Dan Murphy mega store for Darwin airport will not proceed, they say they remain cautious of intentions for further development.
An Independent Panel Review appointed by Woolworths to investigate the proposed development of a Dan Murphy's megastore in Darwin recommended that Woolworths halt their plans.
For John Paterson, CEO of AMSANT, Olga Havnen (CEO of Danila Dilba Health Service) and Deborah Di Natale (CEO of NTCOSS), the announcement brings an end to five years of advocating against the store due to the increase in alcohol related harm it would bring to Darwin.
"As a long-term advocate against this Dan Murphy's store, it's really great to see that the concerns of health professionals and community leaders are finally being heard after five long years," Mr Paterson said.
"However, this is only a small part of the work we do every day in mitigating the acute and long-term harm that alcohol causes in our community."
With the existing high density of bottle shops, the addition of a megastore would have a disastrous impact on Darwin Ms Di Natale said .
"The Northern Territory experiences some of the worst alcohol-related harm in the country," she said.
"It is a great step. But Woolworths must now guarantee that they will retain the license and not pass it over to Endeavour Group, their alcohol subsidiary, to try again to build this store.
"Until Woolworths confirms they will retain the liquor license, a megastore being built near dry Aboriginal communities will hang over Darwin."
Ms Havnen is relieved the lack of engagement has been taken into consideration in this decision.
She commended Woolworths on making a significant decision and acknowledged that they had taken a considerable step in the right direction.
"This decision provides Woolworths with an opportunity to become a national leader in corporate responsibility and influence the business sector in its engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities, and organisations," she said.
"In the interest of transparency I would encourage the release of the Independent Panel Review report immediately, with responses to recommendations in June as initially indicated by Woolworths."
The trio said the independent panel, chaired by Danny Gilbert AM, presented a suite of recommendations to the board of Woolworths and confirmed what Darwin health and community advocates have known for years.
That Woolworths did not conduct adequate stakeholder engagement about the proposed large- scale liquor store and should not proceed with the development.
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