ALCOHOL MANAGEMENT: As Katherine prepares to go to the polls in just over a week alcohol management is set to feature in the electorate.MANAGEMENTof alcohol issues in Katherine is set to feature in just over a week as Territorians prepare tohead to the polls on August 27.
Nanjing Night Net

The past two Northern Territory governments have resorted to drastic measures to control alcohol related violence and anti-social behavior in Katherine and across the territory.

The latest measure has been the introduction of police officers checking licenses and managing the sale of alcohol at bottle shops in Katherine, otherwise known as temporary beat locations.

Incumbent Country Liberal Party candidate Willem Westra van Holthe said the introduction of TBLs was the most effective policy against anti-social behaviour he had ever seen.

“Prior to being in politics I was in the police force in the Northern Territory and in all that time I have never seen a policy work as well to defeat anti-social behaviour as the introduction of the TBLs,” he said.

However, the TBLs were introduced after the Country Liberal Party government scrapped the banned drinkers register in 2012, a Labor government policy.

The BDR was an electronic system where all customers’ licenses were scanned by bottle shop staff and denied sale if they were on the register.

Katherine ALP candidate Sandra Nelson said anNT Laborgovernment would keep the TBLs and re-introduce the BDR.

“The TBLs have made a difference in downtown Katherine,” she said.

“But essentialy what it does is it pushes the problem away from the main street and it doesn’t really address the territory-wide issue.People are now going to Mataranka.”

Mr Westra van Holthe agreed the problem was leaving Katherine but said his concerns were for the town of Katherine.

“My main concerns are for the constituents of my electorate,” he said.

Independent candidate Leon Cellier backed the idea of re-introducing the BDR but said enforcement should be the bottle shop’s responsibility. He said appropriate punishment for licensee’s would be needed.

“It’s like speeding, if the fine’s big enough people won’t speed,” he said.

One Territory candidate Braedon Earley said he would be in favour of bringing back the BDR but focusing it on fingerprint or facial recognition.

“We would not let a vacuum be created by removing the TBL and introducing the bio-metric scanning butlook to find that balance that best serves the community,” he said.

Shooters and Fishers Party candidate Chris Righton supported the TBLs but said he would like to see it go a step further and address the grassroots of the issue.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.