Oct 4, 2012

$100 for a cask of wine? Communities welcome grog ban review

A bottle of rum from the black market in Palm Island -- where alcohol restrictions are in place -- could set you back $150. Residents of Queensland's "dry" Aboriginal communities welcome a review.

Amber Jamieson — Freelance journalist in New York

Amber Jamieson

Freelance journalist in New York

Frustrations at a “paternalistic” policy — plus the dangers of home brew, young people slapped with criminal records and bottles of rum sold for $150 — are just some of the reasons residents of “dry” Aboriginal communities in Queensland welcome the review of the state’s alcohol management plans.

Yesterday Glen Elmes, Queensland’s Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, delivered a pre-election promise to review the initiative, with a focus on communities choosing and taking ownership of any restrictions. Fifteen Queensland indigenous communities currently have alcohol management plans (AMP) in place, ranging from restrictions on how much can be brought in to a complete ban on all alcohol.

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8 thoughts on “$100 for a cask of wine? Communities welcome grog ban review

  1. ianjohnno1

    AMPs simply shift the problem to towns and cities. Whether this is a good thing depends on one’s POV.

  2. Jim Bob

    Surprise, surprise prohibition doesn’t work that well. It certainly doesn’t seem to when imposed from above without the support of the communities involved.

  3. mikeb

    “Over in Palm Island, only one slab of light or mid-strength beer is allowed per person of drinking age.”……and that’s classed as restrictive??? I wonder how much beer one person in the Palm Islands wants a day?

  4. Rosemary Stanton

    Why do we always blame the victims? How about some attention being given to those who sell alcoholic beverages for grossly inflated prices. Could they be white rip-off merchants?

  5. paddy

    [It’s having alcohol restrictions implemented by those who don’t live in the communities that annoys community leaders.]

    That was the bit that leapt out at me from the article.

  6. Christopher Nagle

    I think we are approaching a time when we are all going to have to rethink our attituded to indigenous ‘communities’. I think the human rightsy mob have only compounded the legacies of paternalism and missionaries into a world without moral borders or compass. We have substituted a system that at least provided some semblance of social and existential order with one of indulgence and egregious excuse making that is much more disabling and condemns entire communities to live in their own shit and then pass it on with interest to their children.

    The time has come to call the bluff of the anti-racist ‘industry’ and expose the ideological lies and self-deception of its acolytes. The whole ‘racist’ construct has become a dirty little cover up for the terrible damage the ‘progressiv humanists continue to do to communities in free fall. We need to expose the misery and disempowerment they have caused

    The time has come to start treating indigenous society like any other part of the multi-cultural mix that is Australia. We expect of all ethnic ‘communities’, in return for recognizing, welcoming and supporting their cultural infrastructure, that they and their children will become citizens not just of Australia, but the modern world. And they all need to understand that that is not a negotiable bottom line. That comes with the citizenship.

    If any other ethnic group refused in large measure to support their childrens’ education the way substantial sections of indigenous society do, stuff would happen. We just wouldn’t tolerate it.

    Its time the rest of the multi-cultural community communicated that to aboriginal communities in ways that make it clear that either it gets its act together, or others will do it for them. The little children are sacred. Period.

  7. Ron E. Joggles

    To Rosemary Stanton – In my experience sly grog operations on dry communities are invariably run by senior indigenous community members.

  8. Ron E. Joggles

    Unreasonable alcohol restrictions are not limited to discrete indigenous communities. Ordinary hotels in ordinary townships on Cape York Peninsula are subject to draconian restrictions, but unlike on the communities, entirely without input or consent from their local and regional residents. My local pub cannot sell me a carton of regular beer; low alcohol beer only, and only one carton per car; I’m on a cattle station an hour away and don’t need or want to go to town more than fortnightly. The nearest place I can buy regular beer is Cooktown, 3 hours away, and then only one carton. If you have a crew of ringers working on your station, several hours from the nearest pub, you can’t get a month’s supply of beer – how logical or fair is that?
    If you enjoy a glass or two of cask wine in the evening, forget it, or drive to Cooktown, local pubs are not permitted to sell casks at all, bottles of wine are limited to one per car and very expensive; at Cooktown you can buy one cask, but not until 6pm, so drive home 3 hours in the dark or stay overnight – so again you can’t get a month’s supply for your remote station, how fair is that?
    Curiously, while regular beer cannot be bought to take home, full strength cider and spirit mixers can! At a much higher cost of course.
    All these restrictions on ordinary hotels in ordinary towns were imposed by the Licensing Commission after closed consultations with select indigenous committees; no input from the wider community.

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