Alcohol has been the number one scourge confronting Indigenous Territorians and other itinerants for the past 50 years.
Wet communities, dry communities, beer only strategies, outlawing flagons then reduction in wine cask sizes, limiting trading hours, police on bottle shops and banned drinkers registers; nothing has worked because strategies can always be circumvented. Now the suggestion that a controlled, monitored drinking area for itinerants be located in Darwin is being floated. If established, it will quickly join the long list of other failed initiatives. Chronic dependence on alcohol is dehumanising far, far too many Territorians. There is no solution to the problem.
We have enjoyed an excellent wet season. The Darwin River Dam is at over 90% of its storage capacity. Rural area aquifers have been replenished.
Now is not the time to consign planning of water futures to the backburner. Rather it is high time to plan in a way that will not see us embarrassed about water shortages in the future. Remember that before the 2020/22 wet season, our dam was well down and many aquifers were almost bone dry.