Central Australia Reinstates Alcohol Bans in an Attempt to Calm Crime Waves

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The Central Australian government has recently reinstated alcohol bans in some towns across the region due to a recent wave of escalating crime.

The liquor ban affects multiple popular tourist destinations, including Alice Springs, and will also be rolled out to other towns in the area, such as Tennant Creek, Katherine and Elliot. 

Reports suggest that the crime wave is primarily attributed to alcohol-related activities, with police having recorded increased assaults, property damage and severe public disorder since the beginning of 2020.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Chief Minister of the Northern Territory (NT) Natasha Fyles have recently joined forces to validate reinstating dry zones for indigenous town camps and communities near Alice Springs.

Hardly a year has passed since the abolishment of alcohol restrictions in the Northern Territory which legalises drinking culture in some areas after 15 long years.

In response, the levels of alcohol-induced violence have drastically risen in Alice Springs. It has caused it to gain attention on a national level, and Mayor Matt Paterson is imploring for support from the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

At the end of January, Albanese travelled to the region and discovered that restrictions should be reinstated. Consequently, he launched a review outlining his findings.

Residents of Northern Territory communities now have the opportunity to opt out of reinstituted bans should 60% of residents in that community vote for it and present an alcohol management plan. It is made possible through new legislation set to be introduced into NT Parliament.

While speaking to Parliament, Albanese admitted that the current and past governments could have done a better job of preparing for when the 15-year bans would end.

With more than A$250 million ($173 million) in funding for the Alice Springs region, he emphasised that this issue was about much more than just alcohol and promised to create a better, safer future.

This is about intergenerational disadvantage. It is about a lack of employment services, a lack of community services, a lack of educational opportunity,” Albanese said.

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