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Tough booze laws to fight NT crime crisis

The sale of takeaway alcohol will be banned in Alice Springs on Mondays and Tuesdays, and restricted on other days, in a bid to combat surging youth crime.

January 25, 2023
By Aaron Bunch
25 January 2023

Drinkers in central Australia are facing tough new takeaway alcohol sales restrictions, as the Northern Territory government attempts to curb surging youth crime in Alice Springs.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met with territory leaders in the remote city, where many locals are fed up with the violence and calling for federal intervention.

He was joined by Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney, who along with NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles, announced a series of measures designed to curb anti-social activity.

They included a three-month ban on the sale of takeaway alcohol in the region on Mondays and Tuesdays and reduced trading hours on other days, with a limit of one purchase per person each day.

A long-term central Australian alcohol management plan will also be developed to deal with the “complex issues” in the region, which include alcohol fuelled violence, unemployment and youth on the streets.

A central Australian regional controller has been appointed to ensure all levels of government are working together to deliver services to the community.

The controller, Dorrelle Anderson, will also review opt-in alcohol restrictions, that replaced expired Intervention-inspired liquor bans last year, and consider if opt-out bans should be implemented.

Mr Albanese promised to spend millions of extra dollars to bolster security, including better street lighting, provide emergency accommodation for domestic violence victims and continue community services in Alice Springs and the region.

NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles took aim at Opposition leader Peter Dutton, who she accused of playing politics with the issue.

“(He) was a part of the coalition cabinet that sat there and let the Stronger Futures law lapse in the Northern Territory, yet over the last few weeks he’s played politics with this issue without even visiting,” she told reporters after the meetings on Tuesday afternoon.

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