(QldGovSpin) New laws to support alcohol management in remote communities

Submitted by Editor on Tue, 28/09/2004 - 19:21

Two bills to be introduced in Parliament this week will further strengthen the campaign to ease alcohol abuse in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

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Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Policy, Liddy Clark
atsip@cabinet.qld.gov.au
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27/09/04

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Liddy Clark said today the Community Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2004 to be introduced this week would make it possible to prohibit home-brew kits in areas covered by an Alcohol Management Plan.

And Tourism, Fair Trading and Wine Industry Development Minister Margaret Keech said the Liquor Amendment Bill 2004 would ensure existing alcohol restrictions could be effectively enforced.

Ms Clark said the Community Services Legislation Amendment Bill would address the problem of people avoiding alcohol restrictions by producing their own home-brew.

"Since 2002, the Queensland Government has been working in partnership with remote communities to implement Alcohol Management Plans to stop the cycle of alcohol abuse and violence in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities," she said.

"A small number of communities have found the production of home brew is threatening to undermine the positive impacts alcohol restrictions are having in their communities.

"These communities have appealed to us to take action to prevent this.

"This legislation will deal with the problem by allowing for a regulation to be made to prohibit the possession of home-brew kits and home-brew concentrate and the provision of home-made alcohol.

"This is not a blanket ban across the communities.

"Legislation will be implemented on a needs basis in consultation with each community."

Ms Clark said the legislation was in line with the State Government's commitment to ensure the Alcohol Management Plan implemented in each community was meeting the specific needs of that community.

"This move will allow the State Government to activate restrictions in a particular community in response to concerns raised by community members or other compelling evidence," she said.

"The ban on home made alcohol and home-brew kits will only apply if a regulation is made for a particular community.

"It's an extra 'tool' that will help community justice groups and the Government work together to tackle alcohol abuse and misuse within remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities."

Mrs Keech, who is also minister responsible for liquor licensing, said the Liquor Amendment Bill 2004 would exempt commercial transport carriers when they are transporting liquor, on consignment, through a restricted area.

"The existing provisions only provide such an exemption for the delivery by commercial carriers to licensed premises within restricted areas and have resulted in the need to issue special permits to allow remote transport carriers to conduct business efficiently," Mrs Keech said.

"The amendments will also lessen the impact of restricted areas on the tourism industry by allowing permits to be issued for a specified time of not more than a year.

"The amendment allows restricted area permits to be issued to tour operators for the entire tourist season.

"This will help them more effectively plan and market their tours.

"The strict conditions placed on permits are unchanged."

Mrs Keech said the amendments also clarified confusion relating to the inclusion of airport tarmacs within restricted areas.

"We are amending the definition of a public place to specifically include tarmacs and any other land used for the landing and parking of aircraft within a restricted area," she said.

MEDIA:
Minister Clark's office ..... Marie Low 3222 2350
Minister Keech's office ... David Smith 3225 1005

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