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  1. 1

    Bo Gainsbourg

    Pretty comprehensive and convincing response.

  2. 2


    Thank you for this article.

  3. 3

    Bob Durnan

    There are some minor mistakes in John Paterson’s article about the alcohol restrictions last weekend, and they are there because some of the information which I supplied to AMSANT was wrong.
    The reduction in hours of take-away alcohol trading over the three days of the restrictions from Thursday to Saturday was actually seven (not nine); and data has now emerged showing that there were five DV incidents on the Thursday night, rather than just the one which we were told about earlier in the week.
    However we understand that five DV incidents is considerably less than the number which normally occur on a Thursday night in Alice Springs, and this was a night when the number of people visiting Alice and drinking was thousands more than on nearly every other night of the year.

  4. 4


    So good to read this rebuttal of Chris Graham’s simplistic attack on alcohol restrictions in NT communities. As John Patterson argues, “Graham’s assertion that it has been Canberra that has led the game in positing alcohol bans is completely inaccurate and ahistorical and, frankly, anti-Aboriginal”. To see a highly respected Aboriginal-controlled organisation rightly taking on Chris Graham’s muddled-headed thinking on this is well overdue and welcome.

    Chris Graham’s piece reinforces the perception, too common in liberal white Australian circles, that Aboriginal people are just passive victims of dodgy government policy rather than people with the smarts to tell the difference between what works and what doesn’t and fully capable of developing policy that does work. Since moving South from northern Australia I am heartily sick of bleeding hearts who tell me over and again that the Cape York Alcohol Management Plans are the result of Noel Pearson’s thinking alone and all the other thousands of Murris, by implication, are just passive observers while Pearson and the Qld Government conjure up new ways of curtailing Aboriginal rights!

    Yes grog controls aren’t the solution on their own – and Aboriginal communities and organisations have argued for broad reforms of grog policies not just supply restrictions – but Chris Graham, like his fellow thinkers, have been very slow in proposing other alternatives.

    It’s easy to just attack alcohol control measures as racist or paternalistic without ever proposing what other solutions might work and thank goodness Aboriginal people like John Patterson and Aboriginal organisations like AMSANT are engaged with finding solutions unlike some commentators who snipe from the sidelines.


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