Alcohol ban for Aborigines

The town of Alice Springs in Australia's Northern Territory has become a dry zone, with drinking banned in all public places.

Alcohol ban for Aborigines
The move was instigated by local people who wanted to curb crime and violence.

But they also feared the impact on the town of tough new measures being brought in by the federal government.

These will ban the consumption of alcohol - also known as grog - in Aboriginal communities as part of an attempt to stamp out child abuse.

Heavy fines

Alice Springs is the fountain-head of what is often called the Northern Territory's "river of grog."


Alcohol is readily available, and it is common to see clumps of people sitting by the roadside or gathered in public parks drinking beer and spirits.
Now, though, this parched desert town has officially been declared a dry zone - a move instigated by local people to crack down on harmful alcohol consumption and the crime and anti-social behaviour it causes.

Drinking in all public places will be punishable by hefty fines.

Liquor permits will only be available for community festivals, sporting events and weddings on public lands.

This prohibition pre-empts a move by the federal government, which plans to bring in strict new measures later this month to curb child abuse in Aboriginal communities.

The government wants to ban the sale, consumption and possession of alcohol on Aboriginal lands, and to grant the police new powers to search vehicles suspected of being involved in grog running.

Residents of Alice Springs are concerned that these new measures will shift the problem drinkers into their town - hence the move to declare themselves dry.

BBC
Last Mod: 01 Ağustos 2007, 12:21
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