SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN THE COMMUNITY
DATE: 22 October 2002
TABLED: 22 October 2002
SUBMISSION NUMBER 0060
Gunbang Action Group
Menzies School of Health Research Menzies Occasional Papers
Gunbang or Ceremonies
Combating Alcohol Misuse in the
Kakadu / West Arnhem Region
MENZIES SCHOOL OF HEALTH RESEARCH Northern Territory Australia
Menzies Occasional Papers
GUNBANG... OR CEREMONIES?
Combating Alcohol Misuse in the Kakadu / West Arnhem Region
Peter d'Abbs Trish Jones
Living With Alcohol
A Northem Territory Govemment Program
Issue No. 3/96
DARWIN: ALICE SPRINGS:
PO Box 41096 PO Box 8569
CASUARRNA NT 0811 ALICE SPRINGS NT 0871
Ph : 08.8922 8196 Ph : 08.8951 7757
.Fax: 08.8927 5187 1 Fax: 08.8951 7590
Gunbang... Or Ceremonies?
Combating Alcohol Misuse in the Kakadu /West Arnhem Region
Peter d'Abbs Trish jones
"Gunbang... or ceremonies: Which do you want?"
An Aboriginal resident of Manaburdurma Town Camp,Jabiru, addressing fellow residents, November 1995.
A report prepared for the Gunbang Action Committee
Menzies School of Health Research PO Box 41096, Casuarina NT 0811 Ph 08.8922 8196 - Fax 08.8927 5187
Overview of the report ...4
The region and its people ... 6
Background: Uranium mining, tourism and alcohol in the region ...6
Alcohol consumption in the region ...7
The effects of alcohol misuse in the region...8
Existing programs and services for addressing alcohol-related problems in the region...9
Controls on availability of alcohol...9
Programs and services to change drinking practices ...10
Measures to reduce risks associated with drinking ...10
Summary of recommendations...10
Controls on the availability of alcohol...11
Preventive and treatment services ...13
Risk reduction measures ...14
The need for a community development approach ...15
1. A FRAMEWORK FOR ADDRESSING ALCOHOL-RELATED PROBLEMS ...16
1. 1. The nature of alcohol problems... 16
1.2. Measures to reduce alcohol-related problems... 17
2. THE REGION AND ITS PEOPLE...19
2. 1. Oenpelli... 20
2.2. Jabiru... 20
2.3. Kakadu National Park... 21
3. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: URANIUM MINING, TOURISM AND ALCOHOL IN THE WEST ARNHEM REGION...22
3. 1. The Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry ...23
3. 1. 1. Measures to improve 'morale...23
3.1.2. An Aboriginal needs 'database...24
3.1.3. Controls on availability of alcohol...24
3.1.4. Enforcement measures...25
3.1.5. Comments ...25
3.1.6. The go-ahead for mining...26
3.2. Assessing the social impact of uranium mining : the 1984 report ...27
3.3. Delineation of control over liquor licences in Kakadu...28
3.4. Tourism and the proliferation of liquor outlets ...28
3.5. Summary ...29
4. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION IN THE REGION...31
4. 1. Regional consumption patterns...31
4.2. Estimating apparent per capita alcohol consumption ...33
4.3. Estimating apparent per capita consumption by Aboriginal drinkers at Gunbalanya and Jabiru Sports and Social Clubs...35
4.3. 1. Interpreting the apparent Aboriginal per capita consumption figures ...37
4.4. Summary ...39
5. THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL MISUSE IN THE REGION...41
5. 1. Effects associated with intoxication...41
5.2. Effects associated with chronic excessive consumption...49
5.3. Effects associated with dependence ...50
5.4. Summary ...51
6. EXISTING PROGRAMS AND SERVICES FOR ADDRESSING ALCOHOL-RELATED PROBLEMS IN THE REGION...53
6. 1. Controls on availability of alcohol...53
6. 1. 1. Gunbalanya and Jabiru Sports and Social Clubs...59
6.2. Programs and services designed to change drinking practices...60
6.2. 1. Primary preventive programs ...61
6.2.2. Secondary preventive (early intervention) programs ...62
6.2.3. Tertiary preventive (treatment) programs ...64
6.3. Measures to reduce risks associated with drinking environments ...66
6.4. Summary ...67
7. A STRATEGY FOR KAKADU/WEST ARNHEM REGION...68
7. 1. Controls on availability of alcohol...70
7.2. Preventive and treatment services ...75
7.3. Risk reduction measures ...77
7.4. The need for a community development approach ...80
8. SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS...82
8. 1. Controls on the availability of alcohol...82
8.2. Preventive and treatment services ...85
8.3. Risk reduction measures ...86
8.4. The need for a community development approach ...86
9. REFERENCES ...88
10. Appendix 1: Estimating per capita alcohol consumption...90
1 0. 1. Estimating apparent per capita consumption by persons aged 15 and over ...90 10.2. Estimating Aboriginal alcohol consumption via the Gunbalanya and Jabiru
Sports and Social Clubs 91
The report that follows is a revised version of a draft report initially submitted to the Gunbang Action Committee in Jabiru in February 1996 and formally considered by the Committee at a meeting on 1 April 1996.
At this meeting, the seventeen recommendations arising out of our study were considered. All but three of these recommendations were unanimously accepted by the Committee subject to some amendments, which have been incorporated into this final report. The three outstanding recommendations - namely numbers 3, 4 and 5 - in the Summary of Recommendations, were not acceptable to several members of a delegation from Oenpelli, many of whom were either committee members or employees of the Gunbalanya Sports and Social Club. Following discussion at the Committee meeting, the Oenpelli delegation asked that the Gunbang Action Committee postpone final acceptance of the draft report in order to allow time for further discussion amongst members of the Oenpelli community, and also to enable the consultants to make another visit to Oenpelli and take part in a community meeting.
This request was accepted by the Committee and the consultants agreed to visit Oenpelli at a mutually agreed upon date. Subsequently, on 17 May 1996 a community meeting was held in the open area outside the Gunbalanya Council offices. The meeting was chaired by Mr John Maley, Chairman of the Northern Territory Liquor Commission, and attended by about eighty residents of Oenpelli as well as the consultants.
Soon after the meeting began it became apparent that, contrary to the expectations of the consultants and other parties, virtually no discussion had taken place in the community regarding the three
contentious recommendations. Indeed, when the Chairman asked those present how many had read or were even aware of the recommendations, only three people put up their hand. In the light of these circumstances, it was agreed by those present at the Oenpelli meeting that further discussion regarding the three recommendations was required.
Later on the same day, another meeting of the Gunbang Action Committee took place in Jabiru. At this meeting, the Committee concluded that further delay of the report itself was unwarranted, particularly in view of the fact that the report was itself the product of wide consultations in a number of settings (including Oenpelli) and also in view of the fact that the remaining recommendations clearly had the support of all Committee members.
It was therefore agreed that a final version of the report should be prepared incorporating amendments to the reconunendations as agreed in Committee discussions, but also acknowledging the fact that recommendations number 3, 4, and 5 were subject to continuing deliberation in Oenpelli.
The report, therefore, should be read with this qualification in mind.
Peter d'Abbs Trish Jones June 1996
Concern with alcohol problems in the West Arnhem region is not new. In their 1977 report to the Federal Government, the authors of the Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry said bluntly :
Evidence placed before the Commission left no doubt that excessive consumption of alcohol by a large proportion of the Aboriginal people in the Region is having a deleterious effect on their general welfare. The Commission was left with the clear impression that the future of these people will depend in large part on removing or substantially reducing the causes of this problem1.
Seven years the later, one of the authors of a study of the social impact of uranium mining in the region gave an even bleaker assessment:
It would not be unfair to say that alcohol - the search for it, the imbibing of it, or the avoidance of those intoxicated - is a major preoccupation of the entire Region. Apart from long-term effects on health, vehicle accidents result from it, sometimes deaths, and certainly violence against property and people. Money is diverted from food to beer, energies are diverted from ceremonies to beer. And energies are consumed (principally by women) in maintaining a social fabric that alcohol threatens to tear down daily. The key question remains: for how long can unacceptable behaviour be tolerated; for how long will responsibility be disclaimed on the grounds of drunkenness; for how long can people patch the social and material damage done by drunks?2
In October 1995, Big Bill Neidjie, Traditional Owner, voiced his own heartfelt despair in a meeting with the researchers:
They won't listen to me - one man go one way and come back from grog another way.3
The report that follows sets out a strategy for reducing alcohol-related problems in the West Amhem region, under terms defined in a consultancy commissioned by the Gunbang Action Group and awarded to the Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin.
The region covered by this report is sometimes referred to as the 'Kakadu/West Ambem Region', sometimes as the 'Alligator Rivers Region'. It corresponds roughly with the catchments of the East, South and West Alligator rivers, and is the area occupied by those people who have been most directly affected by the discovery of substantial uranium ore deposits in the late 1960s and the
1(d'Abbs, Hunter & Reser 1977d).
3Big Bill Neidjie, Interview, 13 October 95
subsequent establishment of Ranger Uranium mine, the township of Jabiru, and Kakadu National Park4. As defined in the Consultants' Brief, the region includes :
all communities in Kakadu National Park, licensed premises at Mary River, Corroboree Park and Annaburoo, the community at Oenpelli and outstations serviced by the Demed
Five main sources of data were used in preparing the report : review of relevant literature;
interviews with key informants;
official statistics relating to liquor sales, police offences and alcohol-related presentations at health clinics;
NT Liquor Commission files.
In the course of the consultancy, the consultants met with 182 people, some of whom spoke as individuals, some as representatives of organisations or groups. Groups consulted included :
• Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA);
• The Australian Nature Conservation Agency (ANCA);
• Jabiru Town Council;
• Jabiru Sports and Social Club Committee;
• Officers and members of Kunbarllanjnja Community Government Council;
• Police at Gunbalanya and Jabiru;
• Gunbalanya Health Clinic;
• Staff at Gunbalanya Sports and Social Club
• Injalak Arts and Crafts Association;
• Demed Inc;
• Gunbalanya Community School;
• Gagudju Crocodile Hotel;
• Gagudju Lodge Cooinda;
• Border Store East Alligator River;
• All Seasons Frontier Kakadu Holiday Village;
• Northern Land Council,
• Gagudju Association;
• Diabulukgu Association;
• a women's group in Jabiru.
Visits were made Oenpelli and to the following outstations or town camps: Spring Peak; Mudginberri;
East Alligator River, Ranger Station; Manaburdunna; Manmoyi; Gamargawon; Marlgawa;
One written submission was received, from Marrawuddi Gallery, Kakadu.
Overview of the report
Following an Executive Summary, the report is set out in nine sections, plus appendices.
Section 1 outlines a framework for addressing alcohol-related problems at the community level. This framework is subsequently utilised in describing the recommended strategy.
Section 2 presents some basic social and demographic data relating to the West Amhem region.
Section 3 traces the evolution of the present system of controls on the availability of alcohol in the region.
Section 4 uses 'purchase into store' figures collated by the NT Liquor Commission to estimate (a) regional alcohol consumption levels; (b) regional per capita consumption, and (c) per capita consumption among Aboriginal drinkers at the Gunbalanya and Jabiru Sports and Social Clubs,
Section 5 describes the nature and prevalence of alcohol-related problems in the region. The section begins with a lengthy extract from a judge's decision in a court case involving an alcohol-related homicide at Oenpelli, then goes on to consider additional evidence regarding drunkenness, violence and health-related problems in the region.
Section 6 examines the present system of controls on the sale and supply of liquor, responsibility for which is currently shared by the NT Liquor Commission, the Australian Nature Conservation Agency, and the Gagudju Association.
Section 7 looks at the services and programs currently available in the region for dealing with alcohol- related problems, and finds them to be particularly deficient in preventive
Section 8 outlines a strategy to reduce alcohol-related problems in the region, by means of a revamped system of controls on availability, the provision of preventive services, and establishment of a women's resource centre. The strategy would incorporate a community development approach.
Section 9 is a summary of recommendations.
The region and its people
The population of the region is about 3,000, of whom a little over half are Aboriginal. The region contains two townships - Jabiru and Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) - and a number of smaller settlements or outstations, some of which are linked to Oenpelli, and others to Jabiru. Oenpelli and its outstations are located within the Arnhem Land Land Trust area, while most of the remainder of the region lies within Kakadu National Park, a World Heritagelisted park covering 19,804 square kilometres, created in stages from 19755. The townsite of Jabiru lies within the Park area, but has been leased from the Park headlease to the Jabiru Town Development Authority. Jabiru is situated 256 kilometres by road east of Darwin, and Gunbalanya is 60 kilometres north east of Jabiru.
Background : Uranium mining, tourism and alcohol in the region
The Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry in its 2nd report, submitted to the Federal Government in 1977, recommended a number of steps which, it argued, would reduce alcohol problems in the region.
These steps involved :
• acknowledging Aboriginal title to land;
• establishing a national park, which would not only create congenial job opportunities for Aboriginal people, but also provide a buffer to shield Aboriginal people from the impact of tourism and mining;
• creating additional employment opportunities in mining and buffalo eradication;
• creating an Aboriginal needs database;
• putting in place a series of controls on the availability of alcohol, the prime objective of which was to contain consumption within licensed clubs, prevent the introduction of new hotel licences, and discourage takeaway sales;
• complementing the control measures with a set of measures for enforcing the controls, which included appointing Aboriginal special constables and an Aboriginal 'special magistrate', and authorising rangers in the proposed national park to police licensing laws within the park.
These measures - with the exception of the database and the proposed enforcement measures - were subsequently endorsed and, in one way or another, implemented as part of the conditions under which uranium mining in the region proceeded.
5 (Forrest 1193)
In 1983 a dispute between the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Northern Territory Government over authority to regulate liquor licences in the region resulted in an amendment to the National Parks and Wildlife Regulations, under which no person could sell liquor in Kakadu National Park without the permission of the Director, who would seek the views of the Northern Land Council before reaching a decision,
Despite these steps, a subsequent report on the social impact of uranium mining the region, published in 1984, concluded that alcohol misuse throughout the region was having a destructive impact on Aboriginal communities and families.
In recent years, several new liquor outlets have been established within or just outside the National Park. These outlets have been established primarily to serve the growing tourist trade, but also increase the availability of alcohol to Aboriginal people in the region.
Alcohol consumption in the region
• In 1994-95, nearly one million litres of alcoholic beverages (926,573 litres) were sold in the West Amhem region. Of the total, 61% were sold in the three clubs serving local drinkers: Gunbalanya Sports and Social Club, Jabiru Sports and Social Club, and Jabiru Golf Club. A further 32%
were sold through the five roadhouses in the region, and the remaining 7% was sold through the two hotel outlets in the region, the Gagudju Crocodile Hotel and Kakadu Frontier Lodge.
• Full-strength beer accounted for 74% of sales, low alcohol beer for 18%, and wine and spirits for 4% and 2% respectively. (Two percent of sales were 'other'.)
• Of the liquor sold through the three clubs serving local drinkers, a little under 10% were sold through the Jabiru Golf Club. The remaining 90% of sales were shared fairly evenly between Gunbalanya and Jabiru Sports and Social Clubs, both of which recorded sales in excess of 250,000 litres.
• Apparent per capita consumption by persons aged 15 and over from the three clubs in 1994-95 was equivalent to 14.1 litres of absolute alcohol. This is similar to the overall Northern Territory figure, and 50% higher than the national figure.
• Estimated per capita consumption by male Aboriginal drinkers at Gunabalanya and Jabiru Sports and Social Clubs was equivalent to 1,151 mls of absolute alcohol per week, or the equivalent of 56 cans of full-strength beer and 11 cans of light beer per week. Female drinkers consumed, on
average 35 cans of full strength beer and 7 cans of light beer per week, equivalent to 719.3 mls of absolute alcohol per week.
• These figures are disturbingly high. Among male drinkers, the mean consumption of absolute alcohol per week was more than three times the recommended upper limit for responsible consumption, and more than double the level designated by the NH&MRC as harmful. It was also more than three times the mean consumption level reported by drinkers in a sample survey conducted in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs in February 1993.
• Amongst female drinkers, the mean consumption level in the Gunbalanya/Jabiru SSC was four times the NH&MRC responsible drinking level, and more than double the 'harmful' level. It was also more than four times the mean consumption level reported by female drinkers in the 1993 survey of NT towns.
• These consumption patterns associated with the two main licensed clubs alone - quite apart from any additional consumption that might occur through other outlets - pose a major threat to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people in the West Amhem region.
The effects of alcohol misuse in the region
The West Arnhem region exhibits serious alcohol-related problems associated with intoxication, chronic heavy drinking, and dependence.
Problems associated with intoxication are to some extent documented in statistics reporting assaults and drunkenness, although much of the violence associated with drunkenness is never reported and consequently never appears in statistics or reports.
Problems associated with chronic high consumption, on the other hand, are virtually undocumented.
This is largely because neither of the health clinics in the region undertake regular screenings or maintain other databases. Consequently, while the very high consumption levels in the region suggest that the problems associated with chronic heavy drinking would be widespread, no statistical or other data are currently available.
The major problem associated with dependence occurs at the community level, in Oenpelli. For many drinkers in Oenpelli, the club has become a focal institution. As a result, the club in turn has become a dominant institution in the community. Working patterns, for example, are governed largely by the club's opening hours. A destructive symbiotic relationship has developed, in which drinkers are dependent upon the club, which in turn is dependent for economic prosperity on maintaining high consumption levels among drinkers. The club is able to use its economic and attendant political power to patronise worthy causes by diverting a proportion of its profits to them, thereby further broadening its political power-base in the community and ensuring protection against criticism or even scrutiny.
Those many people in Oenpelli who are concerned about the role of the club are effectively disenfranchised. This situation should not be condoned.
While these aspects of the role of the Gunbalanya Sports and Social Club are grounds for concern, the positive contribution made by the present club management to creating a pleasant, ordered drinking environment must also be recognised. Prior to the present management assuming office, the club had been beset by chronic management problems, high turnover of administrative and other staff controversies with other groups in the community, and periodic disagreements with the NT Liquor Commission and police officers.
Theseproblems appear to have been overcome in recent years.
Existing programs and services for addressing alcohol-related problems in the region Existing programs and services are reviewed under three headings : controls on the availability of alcohol; programs and services designed to change drinking practices, and measures designed to reduce risks associated with drinking environments.
Controls on availability of alcohol
Under the alcohol strategy proposed by the Fox Commission and adopted by the Federal Government in 1977, the key to minimising alcohol-related problems was seen to lie in a set of measures to control access to alcohol, chiefly by containing consumption within licensed clubs, discouraging and strictly limiting takeaway sales, and prohibiting the issuing of ordinary publicans' licences in the region.
These objectives have not been achieved. The control system that has evolved since then consists of two parallel sets of controls, one codified in formal licence conditions attached to licences issued under the authority of the NT Liquor Commission, the other in a series of informal verbal agreements negotiated between individual licensees and the Gagudju Association. The latter set special restrictions on the sale of liquor to Aboriginal people living in the region.
Both sets of controls are made up of ad hoc measures, with no evidence of an underlying strategic approach, and neither set is linked to the other in any coherent way.
Some formal licence conditions have been liberalised in recent years, apparently without consultation with local Aboriginal groups. The informal agreements are subject to a number of additional problems. Firstly, being verbal agreements, they are liable to be unilaterally repudiated at any time.
Secondly, licensees claim that the agreements are difficult to enforce. Thirdly, licensees are also uncertain about the extent to which they are protected, under the agreements, against anti- discrimination legislation. Finally, and most importantly, the agreements have failed to curb excessive alcohol consumption.
Programs and services to change drinking practices
The range of programs and services designed to change drinking practices comprises :
· some primary preventive programs, including mass media campaigns to which Aboriginal people in the region are exposed, intermittent school-based education, and the Aboriginal Living With Alcohol Program, which seeks to use a community development approach to encourage groups in communities to identify and implement strategies for reducing alcohol-related harm, and
· limited access to tertiary preventive measures in the form of a residential treatment facility located outside the region.
Secondary preventive programs are conspicuously lacking. A visiting worker employed by CAAPS provides regular counselling and related services, and one community-based worker is employed by CAAPS in Oenpelli. Royal Darwin Hospital offers a hospital-based screening program which, however, screened only 12 people from the West Arnhem region in 1994/95. The most important gap in existing service is the absence of any regular screening or early intervention programs.
Measures to reduce risks associated with drinking
Apart from licensed clubs - which can be seen as attempts to create safe, controlled drinking envirom,nents - there are almost no measures in place to reduce risks associated with drinking, such as sobering-up shelters or night patrols. A former police facility in Oenpelli was being converted for use as a women's refuge late in 1995.
However, we do not believe the absence of such services to pose a problem at present.
The present range of programs and services, therefore, is shown to be inadequate on several counts.
Summary of recommendations
1 In view of the shortcomings of the existing system of controls on alcohol misuse in the region, a new strategic framework is needed for the reduction of alcohol-related problems in the region.
This should be based on four types of measures : (1) effective controls on availability of alcohol;
(2) a range of appropriate and genuinely accessible preventive and treatment services;
(3) suitable 'risk reduction' measures and services, and
(4) measures and services to enhance economic and social opportunities for Bininj.
In this report, we make some recommendations regarding the first three of these components. We do not discuss the fourth, mainly because the Djabulukgu Association has commissioned a separate consultancy to consider the development of employment and training opportunities, and is also taking initiatives with respect to education.
Controls on the availability of alcohol
2. Priority should be given to establishing a mechanism to develop and oversee a coordinated, formalised system of controls on availability, based on consultation with all relevant parties - including non-drinkers in communities. This mechanism, in the form of a regional alcohol committee, would include representatives from :
• Australian Nature Conservation Agency (ANCA);
• Northern Territory Liquor Commission;
• Northern Land Council;
• Gagudju Association;
• Djabulukgu Association;
• NT Hotels and Hospitality Association;
• Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services (CAAPS);
• Kunbarllanjnja Community Government Council;
• Jabiru Town Council;
• Demed Inc.
The committee's primary task would be to review annually all special conditions and restrictions attached to licences, to consider any submissions that might be made with respect to licences, and to make recommendations both to the Director of ANCA and the Chairman of the NT Liquor Commission.
In reviewing licences, the committee would be mindful of the need to reconcile the needs and wishes of local residents and tourists with the urgent need to reduce excessive drinking and associated problems in the region.
The regional committee could be based upon the existing Gunbang Action Group, or it could be a completely new entity.
3 Operating conditions governing Gunbalanya and Jabiru Sports and Social Clubs should be amended in order (a) to make them more accountable to the diversity of interests, needs and views of members of the communities in which they are located, and (b) to counteract the concentration of economic and political power that tends to accrue to those individuals or groups who gain effective control over the
considerable financial resources of these clubs. To promote these goals, we recommend that the operating conditions of Gunbalanya and Jabiru Sports and Social Clubs be amended in three ways :
• in the case of Gunbalanya SSC, to make it mandatory that at least 50% of elected committee positions, including 50% of executive positions, be held by adult Aboriginal female residents of Oenpelli; in the case of Jabiru SSC, to make it mandatory that at least 25% (ie. 50% of 50%) of elected committee positions, including executive positions, be held by adult Aboriginal female residents of Jabiru and/or surrounding town camps. Should either club be unable to meet these conditions, its licence would be reviewed by the Liquor Commission.
• to stipulate that club committees must include at least one nominee of the regional alcohol committee foreshadowed in recommendation number 2, above. Such nominated members would have full voting rights.
• to require both clubs to submit annual reports, including statements of receipts and expenditure, to the regional alcohol committee foreshadowed in recommendation number 2, within three months of the end of each financial year; failure to comply to be brought to the attention of the NT Liquor Commission.
4 Further restrictions should be imposed on the availability of take-away alcohol region.
Specifically, we commend that:
• The existing ban on all takeaway sales from Gunbalanya Sports and Social Club, and restrictions on takeway sales from other outlets in the region be either (a) retained or, (b) in consultation with the Regional Alcohol Committee proposed above, be extended.
• Takeaway sales from Jabiru Sports and Social Club to Aboriginal club members be restricted to either 6 cans of full-strength beer per person per day, or 12 cans of light beer per person per day, initially for a trial period of six months, with effects being monitored.
• Notwithstanding (1) and (2) above, consideration be given to permitting no takeaway sales of alcohol throughout the region on Thursdays or on 'royalty payment' days, again for an initial six month trial period.
1. The present arrangement at Gunbalanya Sports and Social Club, under which the club opens between 12 noon and 1.00 pm, with a further 30 minutes during which patrons can consume drinks purchased during the one hour sales period, is a matter of continuing controversy in the community. We believe that present lunchtime consumption patterns have a severe, deleterious effect upon Aboriginal employment and productive activity in the community. As a result, responsibility for the performance of many essential functions, and the power and authority that goes with this responsibility, remains vested largely in non-Aboriginal residents in the
community. This in turn contributes to a continuing marginalisation of Aboriginal people in a community that is ostensibly under their own control.
We also believe that (a) most if not all regular drinkers in Oenpelli favour the present arrangement, while the views of non-drinkers do not appear to have been adequately canvassed. Under these circumstances, we do not believe it appropriate to call for a cessation of lunchtime trading. We do, however, recommend that pending any conimunity-based reform of lunchtime trading arrangements, some steps be taken forthwith to reduce harmful effects.
Specifically, we recommend that lunchtime sales at Gunbalanya Sports and Social Club : (a) be restricted to light beer only, and
(b) be contingent upon the club providing a meal, for which it should levy a lunchtime entrance fee of approximately three dollars per person.
6 The NTHHA should be asked by the Living With Alcohol Program to discharge its responsibilities to train bar staff in the region, under the terms of the grant that the NTHHA has received from the NT Government to enable it to carry out this role. Should the NTHHA be unable or unwilling to perform this role then (a) the LWAP grant should be reviewed, and (b) the proposed Regional Alcohol Committee should approach the Living With Alcohol Program, seeking funds to enable it to engage a trainer on its own behalf
7 Existing laws regarding serving of alcohol to intoxicated and/or underage patrons, and regarding public drunkenness, be rigorously enforced6.
Preventive and treatment services
Measures designed to reduce alcohol-related problems by controlling the supply of alcohol must, if they are to have any chance of success, be complemented by measures to reduce excessive demand for alcohol. The existing range of services and programs is inadequate, in that it is founded on (a) primary prevention measures of questionable effectiveness, such as media campaigns, some occasional school-based education, and an NT Government Aboriginal Living With Alcohol Program which, to
6Between the time the research for this project was carried out, and a final report prepared, the law relating to serving intoxicated persons in the NT was amended. On 22 May 1996, under amendments to the LiqgQP Act, it (a) became a regulatory offence to serve alcohol to intoxicated persons; (b) the onus of proof was henceforth placed on licensees and their staff to establish that customers were NOT intoxicated at the time of being served, and (c) licensees became liable with respect to offences against the Liquor Act committed by their employees, whereas previously only the bar staff directly involved had been liable. In addition, evidence from breathalyser readings became admissible with respect to offences under the Liquor Act, whereas previously it had been admissible only with respect to offences under the Traffic Act.
date at least, appears to have had little impact in the region, and (b) limited access to residential treatment facilities located outside the region. The most important gap in present services is a dearth of secondary prevention measures, in particular, regular screening or early intervention programs.
8 To overcome these deficiencies, it is recommended that screening and early intervention programs be established at Jabiru Health Clinic and Gunbalanya Health Centre.
9. We also recommend that Dr Elizabeth Chalmers be engaged on a short consultancy basis to establish the program, in consultation with staff at Jabiru Health Clinic, and to train clinic staff in its use.
10 We recommend that funds to cover establishment of the screening and early intervention program be sought from the NT Living With Alcohol program. Such funds should also provide for monitoring and evaluating the program.
(a) The screening and early intervention program should be monitored and evaluated, in both the short and long term. Funds to cover the evaluation should be included in the funds sought from the NT Living With Alcohol Program.
11. The proposed screening and early intervention program should not be seen as an alternative to either the Aboriginal Living With Alcohol Program - which has a specifically non-medical focus - or to whatever community-based services CAAPS might put in place. There is a need for all of these, although the benefits accruing from each would undoubtedly be enhanced by mutual co-operation among the respective programs.
12 The current efforts by CAAPS to design a more effective range of community-based
counselling, referral and follow-up services, should be supported, and such services encouraged to work in co-operation with the proposed screening and early intervention programs.
Risk reduction measures
13 It is not recommended that additional night patrols, sobering-up shelters or women's shelters be established at this time. However, (a) we support the moves at Oenpelli to convert some old police cells for use as,a women's shelter; (b) we anticipate that the proposed new women's resource centre in Jabiru, referred to in Recommendation 14, would include provision for crisis accommodation, and (c) should community groups at some time in the future wish to set up a night patrol or similar ventures, these initiatives should, in principle, be supported.
14 We recommend that funds be sought to establish a new women's resource centre in Jabiru, and also to enable a coordinator of the centre to be appointed.
The need for a community development approach
A successful alcohol strategy in West Amhem must reconcile three objectives: first, that of bringing about a reduction in per capita consumption; second, that of mobilising community support, and third, that of building and maintaining that support in a politically contested
environment. The only approach likely to meet these challenges is a community development approach.
15 We therefore recommend that an experienced community development worker be appointed, initiallyfor a 12 month period, to work in Oenpelli. The primary roles of the worker would be :
• to mobilise those people and groups in the community who are concerned about the current high levels of alcohol consumption and associated harm, but who are effectively
disenfranchised at present;
• to identify, through negotiations and consultations with all interested parties, a prioritised set of measures that can be put into effect forthwith to reduce alcohol problems;
• to liaise with other groups and agencies in the community and region, and
• to establish mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating any measures adopted.
16 The worker would be based in Oenpelli and should be located at the health clinic. The position should either be attached to the clinic, or to the recommended regional alcohol committee, a sub-committee of which could be appointed as a steering committee for the worker.
17 We do not see a need for a similar position in Jabiru. If a coordinator for a women's resource centre is appointed, as we recommend, this person would be able to liaise with Aboriginal women in and around Jabiru on alcohol-related matters, and also with alcohol workers employed by the Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services (CAAPS). Similarly, if a screening and early intervention program is introduced as we recommend, health clinic staff would become even more effective than some of them are already in raising awareness about drinking problems and proposing alternatives.
1. A FRAMEWORK FOR ADDRESSING ALCOHOL-RELATED PROBLEMS
1.1. The nature of alcohol problems
Alcohol-related problems are a product of three inter-related sets of factors7 :
• the chemical and pharmacological properties of alcoholic beverages consumed (eg. the action of alcohol on the central nervous system);
• attributes of the drinkers, including their motivations, expectations, and state of health, and
• the settings in which alcohol is consumed (eg. proximity to drinkers' families; availability of food;
reliance on motor vehicles for transportation).
Both the settings in which alcohol is consumed, and the expectations that drinkers bring to those settings, are also products of drinking cultures - that is, the set of meanings, values and goals attached to alcohol and drinking amongst members of a particular society or social group.
This means that, in addressing alcohol-related problems, we need to consider four sets of factors :
• alcoholic beverages (amounts, types, etc. consumed)
• drinkers (eg. their expectations, state of health)
• settings (eg. hotels, clubs, town camps)
• drinking cultures (eg. group drinking patterns; peer pressures on those who wish to stop or reduce their drinking).
When considering the effects of alcohol misuse, it is useful to make two further sets of distinctions.
Firstly, it is important to distinguish between three kinds of effects: (a) those associated with intoxication - eg. violence, fighting, road crashes - (b) those associated with chronic, excessive consumption, such as hypertension, liver damage, and alcohol-related brain damage, and those resulting from dependence, such as the psychological problems and withdrawal symptoms displayed when consumption is stopped8
Secondly, the effects of alcohol misuse can be distinguished according to the levels at which they occur: these are (a) drinkers themselves (eg. involvement in criminal justice system; health problems), (b) drinkers'families (eg. domestic violence, loss of money for food) and
7 (Zinberg 1984)
8 (Heather & Tebbutt 1989c).
(c) drinkers'communities (eg. high unemployment; strain on health services)9.
These distinctions are important, not just for analytical purposes, but also as a basis for developing strategies. No single measure is capable of ameliorating all of the harmful effects of alcohol misuse. It is therefore necessary (a) to prioritise those effects that are to be the focus of intervention, and (b) to select the most appropriate measures for addressing those particular effects. In this way it is possible to have clear goals, and to avoid arousing unrealistic expectations about problem-solving.
These distinctions are summarised, and some examples listed, in the following table.
Table 1. 1: Types and levels of alcohol-related problems
Type of effect Drinkers Drinkers' families Communities Intoxication • injuries;
• road crashes
• involvement in criminal justice system
• domestic violence
• psychological impact on children.
• high rates of STDS
• high rates of drunkenness, violence, vandalism;
• deterrence against productive
Chronic, excessive consumption
• liver damage;
• lack of income to meet basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing;
• negative effects on children's education
• damage to maintenance of cultural values;
• premature deaths, leading to reduced numbers of old people;
• strain on services, including health and education;
• high unemployment and reduced job opportunities.
Dependence • incapacity, or
impaired capacity, to regulate own
• inability to function in various roles,
including family and work.
• As above • As above
9 (Moore & Gerstein 1981).
1.2. Measures to reduce alcohol-related problems
Given the multi-causal nature of alcohol-related problems, it follows that any strategy that aims to minimise these problems must address all of the sets of factors outlined above - the alcoholic beverages, the drinkers and the settings in which consumption occurs. To build a strategy on only one set of factors - whether it be, for example, a treatment program or restrictions on availability - is to invite failure.
Four types of measures are available :
1. Controls on the availability of alcohol;
2. Programs and services designed to change drinking practices;
3 Measures designed to reduce risks associated with particular drinking environments, and 4 Measures to overcome social and economic disadvantages, and to enhance the social and
economic opportunities available to members of the population to which the drinkers belong10.
Controls on availability are achieved through measures such as licensing regulations that govern hours of trade, permissible promotional practices and the number and types of outlets; through legislation governing minimum drinking ages; through fiscal measures such as taxation, and through community initiatives such as the declaration of 'dry areas'.
Programs to change drinking practices include educational initiatives, screening and early intervention programs, and treatment and rehabilitation programs.
Measures to reduce environmental risk include sobering-up shelters, night patrols and initiatives such as designated driver schemes.
Finally, measures to overcome social and economic disadvantages include employment, housing and training programs.
10The first three of these measures are adapted from May (May 1992); the fourth is emphasised both in the National Aboriginal Health Strategy and in the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
2. THE REGION AND ITS PEOPLE
The population of the region is about 3,000, of whom a little over half are Aboriginal, as Table 2.1 shows.
Table 2.1 Estimated population of the West Amhem/Alligator Rivers region
Place Male Female Total Male Female Total
Gunbalanya(a) 378 386 764 62 47 109
Gunbalanya outstations (b)
? ? 300
Jabiru(c) 38 45 83 714 559 1273
Mudginberri (d) 67 62 129
Manaburdurina (d) 37 35 72
Cannon Hill/East Alligator (d)
25 32 57
Patonga (d) 30 23 53
Cooinda/Spring Peak/Paradise (d)
16 22 38
Mamukala (d) 10 12 22
16 29 45
TOTAL 617 646 1563 776 606 1382
(a) Sources: ABS 1991 Census of Population and Housing, Basic Community Profile Catalogue No.2722.7, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Profile Cat. No.2722.7 (note: according to information supplied by Kunbarllanjnja Community Government Council, the population as at June 1995 was: Aboriginal 756; non-Aboriginal, 124).
(c) Sources: ABS Estimated Resident Population by Age, Sex, and Statistical Local Area, Northern Territory, June 1993 and June 1994, Cat. No. 3207.7 and Jabiru Health Clinic data.
(d) Source: Jabiru Health Clinic, 1995.
(e) Deaf Adder, 009, Nourlangie.
The region contains two townships - Jabiru and Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) - and a number of smaller settlements or outstations, some of which are linked to Oenpelli, and others to Jabiru. Oenpelli and its outstations are located within the Amhem Land Trust area, while most of the remainder of the region lies within Kakadu National Park, a World Heritagelisted park covering 19,804 square kilometres, created in stages from 197511. The townsite of Jabiru lies within the Park area, but has been excised
11 (Forrest 1993)
from the Park. Jabiru is situated 256 kilometres by road east of Darwin, and Gunbalanya is 60 kilometres north east of Jabiru.
The community of Gunbalanya has a population of around 870, about 760 of whom are Aboriginal (see table 5.1). The Aboriginal people of Gunbalanya today are referred to collectively as Gunwinggu people, although strictly speaking this term refers to the language spoken by a group who moved into the area from further east in Amhem Land12.
The first permanent settlement at Oenpelli was established around the turn of the century by Paddy Cahill, a buffalo shooter who took up a pastoral lease over the area, and in 1906 established a dairy herd. In 1924 Cahill sold his property, and in the following year it became a Church Missionary Society mission13. For the next fifty years the CMS retained control over Oenpelli, as successive government policies shifted from 'protection' to assimilation' to 'self-determination'. With the advent under the Whitlam Labor Government of the policy of 'self-determination' in 1973, administrative authority in Oenpelli passed to the Oenpelli Council, which continues to administer the community. In 1995 the Council became incorporated under the Northern Territory Government's Community Government scheme as the Kunbarllanjnja Community Government Council.
Since the 1970s, a number of traditional owners in the Oenpelli area have moved back onto their country to establish outstations. Today, there are nine such outstations, which are said to have a combined population of around 400 people, although at any one time there are usually only about 300 in residence14. Provision of services and infrastructure to the outstations is the responsibility of Demed Incorporated, an organisation headquartered in Gunbalanya.
The township of Jabiru is of comparable size to Gunbalanya (population of Jabiru is around 1356), but there any resemblance between the two communities ends. Jabiru is a new town, established on a 13 sq.km area leased from the Director of National Parks and Wildlife, to serve as a regional centre for the development of uranium mining at the nearby Ranger Joint Venture mine, under guidelines laid down by the Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry. The first residents arrived in July 198015.
For the first few years following its establishment, Jabiru was administered by a statutory authority comprising representatives of the Northern Territory Government and the Ranger Joint Venture.
Since 1984 it has been serviced by the Jabiru Town Council - a conventional municipal authority.
12Fox, Kelleher & Kerr 1977c).
14Personal communication, Mr Bob Burton, Demed Incorporated.
15(Lea & Zehner 1986b)
Almost all residents of Jabiru are employees, or families of employees, of Ranger, the NT Government or other agencies such as the Northern Land Council. The resident population is largely non- Aboriginal. However, a town camp area known as Manaburdunna has been designated for Aboriginal occupation. Other Aboriginal settlements in the vicinity are Mudginberri, Cannon Hill, Patonga, Cooinda and Mamukala, the populations of which are listed in Table 5.1 above.
2.3. Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park covers 19,804 sq. km, and includes parts of the Amhem Land plateau - a spectacular area made up of sandstone escarpments and areas of rainforest grasslands, savannas and floodplains. It is one of only 17 places in the world included on the World Heritage list for both cultural and natural values, having been occupied continuously for between 40,000 and 60,000 years16.
The Park's origins date back to 1971, when the Commonwealth Government agreed in principle with a proposal from the Northern Territory Reserves Board to establish a national park along the Anihem Land escarpment17. However, competing land use claims, which in turn became the subject of the Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry, brought about delays, and it was not until 5 April 1979 that Stage One of Kakadu National Park was proclaimed. Stage Two was proclaimed in February 1984, and Stage Three in June 1987.
Management of the Park is governed largely by two pieces of legislation: the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory Act 1976, under which unalienated land in the Northern Territory can be claimed by traditional Aboriginal owners, and the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975, which established the statutory office of Director of National Parks and Wildlife, and provided for the area of the Park to be declared a national park.
In 1992 it was estimated that some 300 Aboriginal people lived in the Park, many of whom are actively involved in the Park's management. One of the main associations of traditional owners, the Gagudju Association, operates a number of commercial enterprises in the Park, including the Gagudju Crocodile Hotel in Jabiru and the Gagudju Lodge Cooinda Hotel Motel at Cooinda. Another Aboriginal body, the Djabulukgu Association, leases the Marrawuddi Gallery and other commercial enterprise18.
16Press, Lea, Webb & Graham 1995a).
17 This account of the establishment of Kakadu National Park is based on (Forrest 1993).
18 (Press, Lee, Webb & Graham 1995b).
3. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: URANIUM MINING,
ALCOHOL IN THE WEST ARNHEM REGION
In 1969, two events occurred that were to have a profound effect on the people of the Alligator Rivers region, and do much to shape the circumstances with which this report is concerned. The first was the granting by the Northern Territory Licensing Court of a liquor licence to the Border Store, located near the banks of the East Alligator River, just outside the Arnhem Land boundary, and just 17 km from Oenpelli. The second was the discovery by Peko-Wallsend Operations Ltd and Electrolytic Zinc Co of Australasia of substantial uranium ore deposits in what became known as the 'Ranger Project Area' and the site today of the Ranger uranium mine.
The decision to grant the Border Store licence was opposed at the time by the Oenpelli Council, but to no avail. Almost immediately, the impact on the community at Oenpelli was noted. Cole refers to reports of drunkenness, fighting, domestic violence and heavy spending on alcohol19. A series of community meetings held at Oenpelli in October 1971 agreed on the need for a policeman at Oenpelli, a ban on alcohol on the Oenpelli side of East Alligator River, and a ban on the Border Store selling take-away liquor. In 1974 the Council once again opposed the granting of the licence, but was again over-ruled by the Licensing Court. Subsequently, Council Deputy Chairman Jacob Nayinggul made representations to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Senator Cavenagh :
Oenpelli was a very happy place until 1969 when a liquor licence was grated to a store just outside the Amhem Land reserve. The Oenpelli community then unsuccessfully opposed the granting of the licence. Men drinking too much beer has led to lots of problems. People are sick. Six men have died and many have been taken to Darwin hospital. There have been lots of fights with fists, knives, axes and rifles.... In March 1974 we opposed the renewal of the licence in the Northern Territory licensing court, but our objections were overruled. Later in 1974 the problems became worse. On some nights none of the population of 600 were able to sleep because of drunken brawIs20.
The Shire Council called for closure of the Border Store, establishment of a social club within Oenpelli, and provision of a police station at Oenpelli, to be manned ultimately by Aborigines themselves.
In 1975 Cole identified alcohol misuse as "the major social problem at Oenpelli", a view that was corroborated by the Commissioners of the Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry (known as the Fox Report) in 1977. The Fox Commission described the Gunbalanya Council as being on the verge of breakdown, Aboriginal employment and primary school attendances as both declining, and the community as a whole as being beset by "a general air of despondency"21.
3.1. The Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry
The Fox Commission was set up by the Federal Goveniment to determine whether or not uranium mining should proceed and, if so, under what conditions. The Commission's findings were published in two reports, the second of which was submitted to the Federal Govermnent in May 1977. Despite being deeply pessimistic about the possible social consequences of mining, and despite being well aware of the extent of local Aboriginal opposition to mining, the Commission recommended that mining proceed, subject to a range of constraints and guidelines. The Government accepted the decision and almost all of the Commission's recommendations, and announced in August 1977 that uranium mining would proceed.
The Commission viewed the control of alcohol as being of critical importance :
Evidence placed before the Commission left no doubt that excessive consumption of alcohol by a large proportion of the Aboriginal people in the Region is having a deleterious effect on their general welfare. The Commission was left with the clear impression that the future of these people will depend in large part on removing or substantially reducing the causes of this problem22.
Despite this gloomy assessment, the Commission professed to envisage "a unique opportunity to establish a program designed to reduce dependence on alcohol among Aboriginal people in the Region"23.
This program, as outlined by the Commissioners, comprised four elements :
1 measures which the Commission claimed would improve the 'morale' of Aboriginal people, chiefly through the creation of congenial employment opportunities;
2 the creation of a data-base on the needs of Aboriginal people in the region;
21(Fox, Kelleher & Kerr 1977e).
22(d'Abbs, Hunter & Reser 1977d).
23(Fox, Kelleher & Kerr 1977a).
3 a system of controls on the availability of alcohol; and 4 measures to enforce these controls.
3.1.1. Measures to improve 'morale'
The Commission proposed several steps to overcome what it regarded as the poor 'morale' of Aboriginal people in the region. These were : (1) acknowledgment of Aboriginal title to land; (2) the establishment of a national park, which would create job opportunities that Aboriginal people would find attractive and at the same time shield Aboriginal people from the impact of tourism by acting as a buffer between Aboriginal and other people; (3) mining, which would provide some employment opportunities, in addition to continuing opportunities available through the abattoirs at Mudginberri;
and (4) a buffalo eradication program, which would also create job opportunities that Aboriginal people would be likely to find attractive24.
3.1.2. An Aboriginal needs 'database'
The Commission's second proposal was for a program to ascertain and record "the health, education, employment and accommodation needs of every [Aboriginal] individual25 (p.231) in the region. (The Commission did not use the tertn 'database' but this, in contemporary parlance, appears to be what the Commissioners had in mind.) The Commissioners did not indicate just how they thought this compendium of data might be used to generate useful programs and services.
3.1.3. Controls on availability of alcohol
The central component of the Commission's strategy, and the one outlined in the most detail, was a regulatory environment, which essentially involved restricting alcohol sales to licensed clubs (and issuing no ordinary publicans' licences), where sales were to be rationed, and discouraging take-away sales. The Commission's proposals are listed below.
· Liquor to be on sale at Oenpelli, but only through a licensed club or clubs. Sales to be rationed on a suitable basis.
· The bringing of liquor on to Aboriginal land in bulk quantities (eg. a dozen or more cans of beer) and the sale or supply in bulk quantities of liquor intended to be sent or brought on to Aboriginal land to be forbidden (except when being supplied to licensed premises). This prohibition should, for sake of completeness, also include Cooinda and the region centre, and may be extended so as to relate to the whole national park.
24The Commission's optimism on this point is a little puzzling, as elsewhere in the report, the Commissioners argue that many job opportunities were already available, especially at Oenpelli and Mudginberri, but were not being taken up, partly because many Aboriginal people did not place the high value on regular employment that non-Aboriginal people do, and partly because many Aboriginal people were so preoccupied with alcohol. The Commission also suggested, on the basis of comparable mining developments elsewhere, that few Aboriginal people were likely to be attracted to working with the mining companies.
25(Fox, Kelleher & Kerr 1977a).
• Bulk sales to be prohibited at Cooinda and in the regional centre.
· At the Border Store and Cooinda, and at any other licensed premises established on Aboriginal land (eg. at Jabiru), no more than a very limited amount of liquor to be sold unopened. Facilities at these places to be such that consumption on the premises is encouraged.
· Liquor to be on sale in the regional centre, but principally in licensed clubs. Sales at clubs to be rationed on a suitable basis. At other licensed premises, sales to be governed by the same considerations as apply to the Border Store and Cooinda. An ordinary publican's license should not be granted.
• A number of Aboriginal special constables to be appointed, whose primary duty will be to control excessive consumption of alcohol on Aboriginal land. They will have aduty to enforce the licensing laws and for this purpose will probably have to be given wide powers of inspection and, as incidental thereto, power to stop people and vehicles and to enter premises. Consideration should also be given to their having such additional power to deal with Aboriginals who are under the influence of liquor as is recommended by responsible Aboriginal bodies.
• A special magistrate should be appointed from Aboriginals who reside in the Region to deal according to law with people who commit breaches of the licensing laws on Aboriginal land, or who are found on Aboriginal land under the influence of liquor. He may be given special power to deal with Aboriginal offenders in some fashion not recognised under the general law, but recognised as appropriate by responsible Aboriginal bodies.
• Rangers in the national park should also be given authority to police the licensing laws within the park.
Source.. (Cole, 1975 & 2 1977b).
3.1.4. Enforcement measures
The final component of the strategy referred to enforcement, with the Commission making three recommendations. The first was the appointment of "Aboriginal special constables . . . whose primary duty will be to control excessive consumption of alcohol on Aboriginal land". The second was the appointment of an Aboriginal "special magistrate" to deal with offences against licensing laws on Aboriginal land, with special power to invoke Aboriginal customary sanctions, and the third, authorisation of rangers in the proposed national park to police licensing laws within the park26.
26(Cole, 1975 & 2 1977b).
The Fox Commission's recommendations are as interesting for what they omit as for what they say.
Despite their acknowledgment of already high levels of alcohol misuse in the region, they do not consider the need for education on the dangers of alcohol misuse, or for any intervention or treatment programs. Instead, they rely on two propositions: first, that proposed changes in the social and economic environment would raise 'morale' and therefore, by implication, curb demand for alcohol, and second, that a regulatory system built around containing as much drinking as possible within licensed clubs would minimise excessive consumption.
In Section 3.2 above, it was suggested that alcohol control strategies need to address all of the major components of alcohol-related problems - the alcoholic beverages themselves, drinkers, and the settings in which drinkers consumed alcohol - and that in order to do this, four types of measures are available : (1) controls on the availability of alcohol; (2) programs and services designed to change drinking practices; (3) measures designed to reduce risks associated with particular drinking environments, and (4) measures aimed at enhancing social and economic opportunities among the drinking population.
Within this framework, the Fox Commission's recommendations proposes measures in the Ist, 3rd and 4th categories, but say nothing about measures in the 2nd group.
3.1.6. The go-ahead for mining
The Commonwealth's decision to allow uranium mining to proceed according to guidelines proposed by the Fox Commission necessitated negotiations under the recently passed Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act, involving the Northern Land Council (negotiating on behalf of traditional owners), the Commonwealth, and mining interests. These negotiations resulted in an agreement being signed in November 1978. Under the Agreement, the NLC consented to uranium mining, subject to royalty payments of 4.25% of the value of mineral production, and employment of Aborigines in the mine and in associated service occupations27.
In the following year, traditional owners established the Gagudju Association to represent their interests, and in 1980 the new Association purchased the Cooinda lease, including the sub-lease, thus giving it control over the availability of liquor in the southern end of Kakadu National Park28 .
27(Lea & Zehner 1986a).