Vexed: to ban alcohol in remote Aboriginal communities, or to allow our government to treat the indigenous population in the same manner as any other adult in the country - free to destroy their lives, and the lives of those around them, with alcohol?
I've erred on the side of the alcohol bans, even though drugs aren't banned, so it barely seems useful. It also reeks of infantalising grown men and women, which is exactly what so many policies and public debates relating to Australian Aboriginals do.
Still, given the evidence of good produced by the bans, I was surprised to see that one indigenous group is taking legal action to try to win the right to let the grog free again. Strange, thought I. Unfortunate if they win, thought I. Why would they do it, I thought.
Then I thought: holy fucking shit!
You see, on Palm Island, from whence the High Court challenge comes, distilled drink, wine and full-strength beer are banned - excellent, this has helped the community immensely; men, women and children alike. But wait! They can still purchase mid-strength beer, limited to one 30-can carton at a
Startled, I was. An alcohol "ban" that means no more than 30 cans of beer in one go. Thirty cans would last most people quite some time, surely. And with said thirty cans of mid-strength in hand - it's not even low-strength - why would anyone feel compelled to overload this already heavy-drinking population with more and stronger alcohol?
I hope they don't win the challenge to have the non-ban of alcohol overturned.
Top indigenous body seeks role in grog appeal