Liquor & violence: big increase after alcohol bans end in Northern Territory. Predictable results.

(22 Jul. 2022) “Liquor sales are skyrocketing in Alice Springs after long-term alcohol bans across hundreds of remote communities came to an end [17 Jul. 2022], with one bottle shop reporting a near tripling of sales.”

“NT Police said there had been a spike in anti-social behaviour and domestic violence incidents involving alcohol.”

“Police [in Alice Springs] on Thursday said officers had responded to 30 domestic violence incidents in the previous 24 hours.”

“Labor Member for Lingiari Marion Scrymgour said the issues facing the region were ‘playing out as we all feared’.”

“Ms Scrymgour slammed the NT government’s handling of the expiry of the Stronger Futures legislation, which saw previously dry communities made to ‘opt-in’ if they wanted to keep alcohol bans in place.”

“Ms Scrymgour said it was her understanding that only one camp out of 20 around Alice Springs had opted to remain dry.”

“Communities across the Northern Territory have until January 31, 2023, to apply to stay dry.”

(Abridged extracts from: Lee Robinson and Stewart Brash, “Alice Springs stores rushed with customers as intervention-era alcohol ban expires in NT”, ABC Alice Springs, 22 Jul. 2022.)

“Michael Liddle is an Alice Springs Councillor, an Alyawarre man from the remote eastern Barkly Region, and he’s worried lifting alcohol bans will do more harm than good: ‘When you’re consistently going to funerals because of alcohol, because of drunk driving, domestic violence, abuse, and we just haven’t gotten on top of alcohol abuse.’ Stronger Futures laws introduced by the Labor Gillard government a decade ago, expired at the weekend [17 Jul. 2022], making it legal for residents in dry communities and town camps to purchase and consume alcohol again. [Councillor Michael Liddle:] ‘There are people who have concerns, and there are people that cause havoc.’”

(Jon Daly, “NT alcohol bans end”, ABC Radio News, 18 Jul. 2022)

[Within a few days of the alcohol bans being lifted] “Alice Springs Mayor Matt Paterson called the 2GB open line earlier in the week, desperate to get the message across that crime rates in the Northern Territory are skyrocketing. Luke Grant spoke with him about the criminal activity, and the Intervention alcohol ban being lifted that could see more alcohol-fuelled violence.”

“In this week alone, there’s been as many as 28 domestic violence cases reported in one night (one night!) and a murder suicide that’s left a 17-year-old in a critical condition on top of that. The Northern Territory has rescinded its intervention bans on alcohol.” [Alice Springs Mayor Matt Paterson says:] “One of our bottle shops had an increase 300% sales in the very first day that the intervention had lapsed. So, you know, we’ve got Aboriginal peak health organizations screaming out, that have been screaming out for a long time, don’t let the legislation lapse! We’ve just opened the rivers of grog in central Australia, unfortunately! We’re seeing, as you said, … domestic violence … we’re up to over 50 in two days… We’ve had police spat on attending domestic violence incidents, someone up in Katherine in D.V. who was also killed. Unfortunately we’re a part of time that’s stepped back 10 years.”

(Luke Grant, “Alice Springs Mayor voices concerns on escalating crime rate”, Radio 2GB, 23 Jul. 2022)

“Intervention” Timeline

2007: Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act (Commonwealth). Object: “…to enable special measures to be taken to reduce alcohol‑related harm in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.”
2012: Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Act (Commonwealth). Object: “… to enable special measures to be taken to reduce alcohol‑related harm to Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.”
2022: rivers of alcohol to return to many Northern Territory communities, with the expected domestic violence too. Unstated object: to enable the predatory alcohol industry to profit from the misery of everyone in the Northern Territory. 17 Jul. 2022 is a tragic day for so many victims of alcohol.
“The emergency response (dubbed the Intervention) was opposed by many Indigenous groups that were concerned about discriminatory policy. Ironically, some of those groups are at the forefront of arguing for the Intervention-era grog bans to be reinstated.” (Amos Aikman, “Indigenous Call for a Return of Alcohol Bans”, The Australian, 4 Aug. 2022)

Gumbuli Wurramara aboriginal elder of Arnhem Land standing against alcohol

The story of the Anglican Aboriginal Churches in the Northern Territory cannot be told without including Gumbuli. He was the first Aboriginal person to be ordained as priest in the NT, and only the 2nd Anglican Aboriginal priest in Australia.

He was respected by many at Ngukurr for standing against alcohol being brought into the community. The community had already experienced what it was like to have alcohol freely available. He was aware of the violence and problems that went with the alcohol and wanted his community spared from the consequences of binge drinking, violence, sleepless nights, and frightened women and children who were unable to sleep because of the noise and fear of the violence.

Gumbuli also played a key role in the use of the local language in church. He preached and taught in Kriol. He was a strong supporter of the Kriol Bible Translation project. He selected the first Aboriginal members of the Kriol team and encouraged the translation work. He strongly advocated for Aboriginal partnership in the translation work and insisted that they needed the whole bible Kriol. In 2007 when the Kriol bible was dedicated and presented to the people he was very proud of what had been achieved and encouraged people to use it. He understood the value of reading the bible and preaching in the language the people spoke.

Extracts from EFAC Australia – Joy Sandefur’s book review “Gumbuli of Ngukurr”.

Continue reading “Gumbuli Wurramara aboriginal elder of Arnhem Land standing against alcohol”

Wesleyan Church beliefs on drinking alcohol (1843-2016)

See also: Bible says be sober again and again.

See also: Total Abstinence: Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia (2016) ‘alcohol, tobacco, other harmful drugs … we deplore the industry …’ (WMC Australia)

‘…We believe that the sale and of tobacco, alcohol and other nonmedicinal drugs is a social evil which is draining and corrupting to society, and thus we believe that the best position is to practice total abstinence, protesting both the legal and illegal trade of such substances.’

1996 General Conference, Indianapolis, Ind., June 9–12, 1996.

‘Those admitted to membership in our churches commit themselves to demonstrate their life in Christ in such ways as: …
To demonstrate a positive social witness by abstaining from all forms of gambling and by abstaining from using or trafficking (production, sale or purchase) in any substances destructive to their physical, mental and spiritual health, such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco and drugs (other than proper medical purposes of drugs)’

The Wesleyan Church, The Discipline (2016), 265.

‘We oppose the production, sale, purchase and use of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, narcotics, and other harmful drugs, unless for mechanical, chemical, or medicinal purposes (cf. 265:4). The unprescribed use of hallucinogens, stimulants, and depressants, and the misuse and abuse of regularly prescribed medicines should be prohibited; only on competent medical advice and under medical supervision should such drugs be used. The consequences to society stemming from substance abuse are of major concern because of their unarguably negative impact on the spiritual character and nature of individuals and the welfare of society. These include the creation of barriers to conversion, family dysfunction and breakdown, poverty, disease and death, increased violence and crime, the incalculable loss to national economies, and the destruction of the individual caught by the power of addiction. In light of the overwhelming evidence of damage to society and the spiritual health of the individual by the abuse of such substances, we believe that even where their use may be legalized, we choose total abstinence as our appropriate response…’

The Wesleyan Church, The Discipline (2016), 410.

Only unfermented grape juice shall be used in observing the Lord’s Supper.

The Wesleyan Church, The Discipline (2016), 5610.

Continue reading “Wesleyan Church beliefs on drinking alcohol (1843-2016)”

Aurukun pastor says beer trucks introduced darkest decade in the history of Aurukun

[Herbert Yunkaporta, a local pastor at Aurukun, Queensland.]

In 1985, the Queensland government forced the imposition of a wet canteen at Aurukun against the vehement objection of elders.

Within a decade, homicides, non-existent at Aurukun during much of the mission era, had risen exponentially, and suicides were not far behind.

He vividly remembers … the day that alcohol came to Aurukun [1985].

“The memory is so clear to me,” Herbert says.

“We were walking down to the river to have a swim, and we saw these trucks come in laden with pallets of beer stacked up. We just stood there in silence, in amazement, just speechless.”

The wet canteen adjoined the park and was surrounded by a fence, but it didn’t stop young people breaking the rules.

“I remember seeing a boy who was my age actually put a hole through a fence and suck on a beer from a jug,” Herbert says.

“This is where I believe that Aurukun started nosediving down. That next decade alone was the darkest decade in the history of Aurukun.”

Natasha Robinson, “‘Aurukun needs to be awakened’: Local pastor hopes town at ‘turning point’ after difficult past”, ABC News, 27 May 2016

WCTU: first woman to serve as mayor in USA history

Susanna M. Salter

Mrs. Susanna Madora Salter was the first woman to serve as a mayor in the USA. Oddly, she had not even intended to run for office – though she was politically active for the prohibition of alcohol. Certain anti-prohibition men who opposed her put forward her name, but merely to mock the women of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

Yet to their surprise, she was elected! In 1887 she became the first woman in USA history to serve a term as mayor. (She did not seek a second term as mayor of Argonia.)

Argonia, Kansas was a town of Quaker background. The Quakers had long supported women preaching Biblically – like the prophetess Huldah who preached to males (2 Kings 22:8-20) and the prophetess Deborah who judged Israel (Judges 4-5).
My son, keep your father’s command, And do not forsake the law of your mother.” (Proverbs 6:20)

Susanna Madora Salter portrait
Susanna Madora Salter

Susana Salter of Woman’s Christian Temperance Union :
first woman to serve as mayor in USA history

Once women could vote in the USA, Marie Caroline Brehm of the WCTU become a vice-presidential candidate in 1924. She ran for the Prohibition Party.

Aboriginal Elder Joe Brown calling for total grog ban at Kurnangki

‘Aboriginal elder Joe Brown, 63, a leader of Kurnangki, one of three communities bordering the town centre, said children as young as 12 were into drugs and alcohol.

“We should have a total grog ban,” he said.

Mr Brown, whose 25-year-old son committed suicide last year, said he did not want the army brought in to WA but supported extending to the state the total alcohol bans being proposed in the territory.

Marra Worra Worra Aboriginal Corporation chairman Ivan McPhee, an elder, said the situation in the town was getting worse. He wants tougher alcohol restrictions, including a total ban on takeaway sales, and says the issues are the same as those confronting most of the Kimberley.

“Our kids are going out of control, wandering around with no jobs,” he said. “We are losing a lot of young people to alcohol and drugs. We never heard anything about hanging until drugs and alcohol came.

“We are having a funeral every day. A lot of people are talking about (child sex abuse). We are hearing things about rape.”’

Jessica Strutt, ‘Elders call for more alcohol bans’, The Age, 14 July 2007.

Exploiters and Drinkers: Evangeline Booth “Drink has drained more blood…”

Evangeline Booth’s Indictment:

Commander Evangeline Booth portrait
Commander Evangeline Booth

Who should know better the effects of liquor than this brilliant woman, from her experience in the redemptive work of the Salvation Army? Says she:

Drink has drained more blood,
Hung more crepe,
Sold more homes,
Plunged more people into bankruptcy,
Armed more villians,
Slain more children,
Snapped more wedding rings,
Defiled more innocence,
Blinded more eyes,
Twisted more limbs,
Dethroned more reason,
Wrecked more reason,
Wrecked more manhood,
Dishonored more womanhood,
Broken more hearts,
Blasted more lives,
Driven more to suicide,
And dug more graves,
Than any other poisoned scourge that ever swept its death-dealing waves across the world.

Evangeline Cory Booth, quoted by The War Cry, Toronto, 8 July, 1950, p. 3 ‘Exploiters and Drinkers’

“Booth’s only political involvement was to throw the weight of the Salvation Army behind the movement for prohibition and against the later movement for repeal… In 1934 she became the fourth general of the Salvation Army…”

Evangeline Cory Booth, Encyclopedia Britannica

WA premier says alcohol bans certainly reduce crime

WA Premier Colin Barnett says he would support permanent restrictions on buying alcohol in Port Hedland after takeaway sales were banned on Friday.

“I think that’s got a lot of merit, where alcohol bans have been put in place … it certainly reduces crime, it reduces domestic violence, kids go to school and communities are far better off,” Mr Barnett told reporters. Continue reading “WA premier says alcohol bans certainly reduce crime”

Mr. Eternity: Alcoholic converted because Christians were UNLIKE him

Eternity - written in style of Arthur Stace
Eternity, Arthur Stace

‘Well look at them and look at us. I’m having a go at what they have got.’

—Arthur Stace “Mr. Eternity”

Alcoholic Arthur Stace repented when he saw how Christians at St. Barnabas Church were NOT like him. The church’s Anglican rector, RBS Hammond, was a total prohibitionist, and Arthur was a drinker of methylated spirits.

Arthur then warned about ‘Eternity’ by writing this word in chalk and in crayon on Sydney’s sidewalks. He wrote it repeatedly for 37 years.

Think of the Arthurs of today

What do today’s Arthurs see in your church services? Will they still see a fair-dinkum Christ-like contrast? Continue reading “Mr. Eternity: Alcoholic converted because Christians were UNLIKE him”