Friday, 24 February 2023

Shadow Minister for Northern Australia, Senator Susan McDonald, has given her full support to North Queensland Mayors calling for alcohol restrictions in an attempt to curb crime and violence.

Senator McDonald said recent discussions with hoteliers and business owners had highlighted the need for urgent intervention.

“Licensees in Townsville have reported a surge in anti-social behaviour since the Northern Territory imposed alcohol restrictions this month because people have been crossing the border into Queensland so they can buy alcohol with fewer restrictions,” she said.

“Residents report seeing the same results from people living in ‘dry’ communities in Cape York making their way to Cairns and Townsville for health treatment and then staying, drinking and causing trouble.

“It’s clear there needs to be a uniform system such as a Banned Drinker Register.”

Senator McDonald said such restrictions would allow police to clamp down on sly grogging, and also pointed to recent calls for juvenile criminals to be tested for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome as another reason to impose restrictions.

“We know children are being harmed in their own homes because of substance abuse, but it is a genuine tragedy that they’re also being harmed before they’re even born,” she said.

“I have met children with AFS and their carers and it is heartbreaking to see lives ruined by alcohol.

“I will use my time in Canberra to seek more support from the Coalition and to meet relevant Government Ministers with a view to helping North Queenslanders escape the scourge of alcohol-fuelled crime and violence.

“The Federal Government can use the recently raised beer taxes to help licensees implement new regulations at no cost.”