The CLP sailed under the radar with its wooing of the bush vote with promises of a return to full-strength beer sales at remote townships with Clubs. Around 2006 sales of full strength beer at some Clubs were replaced with mid-strength or low alcohol beer, with a marked reduction in assaults reported by both Police and health services.
Now the new CM, Terry Mills, has come out in support of relaxing alcohol restrictions, though with a twist – there seems to be some kind of thought bubble about a plebiscite on the matter. It’s hard to really know what the plan is because this was not in the CLPs election platform and there has been silence from the NTs new Minister for Alcohol Policy.
The announcement has drawn fire from the CLP Federal Senator, Nigel Scullion, who played a role in delivering the bush seats that won the CLP government, stating that “alcohol in Aboriginal communities has never been a good thing – never”.
Though, this may play out differently how some are expecting. If it really was to be a plebiscite, there is little doubt that most remote communities would vote for a complete ban on alcohol sales.