01 Alice Springs Alcohol Reference Group - Meeting 1 Minutes 15 April 2014

01 Alice Springs Alcohol Reference Group - Meeting 1 Minutes 15 April 2014

Minutes – 15 April 2014


Meeting #1 – 15 April 2014 @ 1.30pm

Department of Business, Conference Room, 1st floor, Green Well Building

Meeting Chair / Damien Ryan, Mayor of Alice Springs
Present / John Boffa, Health Sector
Di Loechel, Aust. Hotels Assoc.
Dale Wakefield, Women, Children and Families
Eileen Hoosan and Philip Allnut, NGO AOD Sector
Matthew Osbourne and Kay Attard, Liquor Stores and Supermarkets
Jeff Huyben, Tourism
Michael Liddle, Traditional Owners of Alice Springs
Annette Partridge, Licensed Clubs
Kay Eade, Business Secto
Jane Alley, NTG
Des O’Brien (Secretariat)
Apologies / Nil

1 Welcome – Roles and Responsibilities

Meeting started at 1.30pm.

The Chair welcomed and thanked the Alcohol Reference Group (ARG) members for attending. The Chair paid respect to the Central Arrernte people whose land we meet on today. The Chair outlined that both the Traditional Owners and NGO AOD sectors have a support person that will attend the meetings.

Members are on the ARG as representative sector members and not representing their organisation. Each member introduced themselves and spoke about the sector they are representing and what they would like to see in an Alcohol Management Plan (AMP).

The member’s comments include:

  • Improved social and recreational outcomes.
  • Work with Aboriginal people affected by alcohol and see people take control of their destiny.
  • Assist harm and demand reduction strategies.
  • Community safety and social responsibility.
  • Improved remote communities.
  • See an effective AMP that works for Alice Springs.
  • An improved commercial and social environment.
  • A sustainable change to the community.
  • Harm minimisation to women and children of Alice Springs.
  • A uniformed reform regarding alcohol to enable good business and social surrounds.
  • An AMP to suit the whole of Alice Springs residents, in particular harm reduction.
  • An evidence based framework to address alcohol-related issues.

A) Role of the Alcohol Reference Group

  • The Chair outlined the role of the ARG.
  • Responsibility of an ARG includes:
  • Respect for other people’s views
  • Open discussion
  • Consensus
  • Provide input on ways to address alcohol-related issues
  • Understand the community and their views relating to alcohol issues
  • Provide feedback to government regarding AMP measures
  • Engage with your sector with ideas

The Chair asked members if they had any questions regarding their responsibility on the ARG. No comment received.

The Chair outlined the purpose of the ARG and asked members for their views. The member’s comments include:

  • How can supply help Alice Springs
  • Reduce alcohol consumption against the national average
  • Better rehabilitation after-care system(s)
  • It’s important to be inclusive and not exclusive
  • Many alcohol initiatives have been implemented in Alice Springs. Let’s look at what has worked and learn from this
  • There are great expectations on retailers to solve matters
  • Discussion took place around the historical pattern in Alice Springs regarding electronic I.D. scanning systems. The electronic I.D. scanning systems commenced in Alice Springs approximately 4 years ago.
  • Discussion took place about whether an electronic scanning system would assist a future Alice Springs AMP. The majority of members agreed this could work.
  • A fairer supply restrictions/alcohol bans monitoring system than the current TBL system
  • Linking Alcohol Protection Orders to an electronic scanning system
  • Address secondary supply
  • Address personal responsible behaviour and families to take responsibility for children
  • Work together
  • Address community safety issues

John Boffa spoke about the current Safe and Sober program delivered by Congress funded under the Alice Springs Transformation Plan and how it relates to alcohol-related matters. Two evaluations have been conducted on the Safe and Sober program. Some findings from the evaluations include 10% of participants have either stopped or reduced alcohol consumption, the program required funding certainty and that limited rehabilitation after-care treatment systems are in place.

Phillip and Eileen spoke about the current alcohol mandatory treatment and how CAAAPU is managing the scheme. Limited rehabilitation after-care treatment was raised and discussed.

II)Sector Representation

The Chair informed members that they represent a sector. Each ARG member is responsible to consult and engage with their representative sector regarding the AMP development.

Clarification was sought from John Boffa on his sector representation, as representing Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC) not the primary health sector.

Action: NTG to follow up with the Minister’s office regarding JB’s representation.

B) Role of Secretariat & Alcohol Policy Strategy Division

Jane Alley spoke to members about the Department of Business, Alcohol Policy and Strategy Division. The three elements of the Division’s work include:

  • Lead the development and coordination of alcohol policy to address alcohol-related harms across NT Government
  • Work with communities and stakeholders to development AMPs
  • Responsible for alcohol-related data to measure progress in reducing alcohol harms and effectiveness of AMPs
  • Jane spoke about the current development of a place based framework for monitoring and measuring the impact and effectiveness of AMPs. This project is being undertaken by Menzies School of Health Research.

Des O’Brien will provide the ARG with secretariat support.

Jane updated members regarding the Tangentyere project which involved working with the Alice Springs Town Camps about alcohol matters. Tangentyere have been engaged to explore town camp resident’s views, drinking patterns, best governance structure and possible solutions to alcohol-related harm.

Several other communities around Alice Springs have worked and/or working on their own AMP. These communities include Mt Nancy, Laramba, Hermannsburg (Ntaria), Titjakala and Amoonguna.

C) Reports to the Minister, including Minutes

The ARG is to produce an AMP to the Minister for endorsement. Any local initiative that addresses the reduction of alcohol-related harm will be directed to the Minister via the AMP.

The ARG Minutes will be drafted and finalised in the following manner:

1) The 1st draft will be sent to the Chair for comments within 3 days from the meeting.

2) The 2nd draft will be sent to the ARG members for their comments following the finalisation of the 1st draft.

3) The ARG members have 3 days to provide comments to the Secretariat.

4) The final 2nd draft will be sent to the Minister’s Office and will be placed on the Department of Business’ website.

2 Terms of Reference

The Chair spoke to the Terms of Reference (ToR) document and asked members for their views. The members thought the ToR did not address the following:

  • How the AMP will be measured and/or monitored

An overall agreement on the ToR was agreed.

Action: NTG to come back with an additional point in the TOR re monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of the AMP.

3 Government Agencies

The Chair introduced Jane Alley to speak. Jane outlined that, unlike previous ARGs, this ARG does not have any representation from government agencies. However, the ARG can decide on how they seek government agencies to provide input and advice to the ARG, and their involvement in the development of the AMP. Jane outlined different ARG models and how they work with government.

The ARG members discussed options and concluded that at this stage they would invite Agencies as required at the beginning of each ARG meeting to address specific issues of concern; any activities/measures in place, data, and to discuss possible solutions etc.

The topic of data was discussed and how government agencies could provide data to the ARG. The ARG raised the issue of what data indicators were required in order to be best informed. Such data indicators discussed were: ED admissions, alcohol consumption and crime rates including assaults / domestic violence.

The three key government agencies include:

  • NT Police
  • NT Health
  • Department of Business - Licensing

The preferred method was that government agencies attend the ARG at the start of each meeting as required

Action: Investigate options to get government to present on data at the next ARG.

4 Alcohol Management Plan

The Chair referred members to a document which outlined steps on how to develop an AMP.

Members spoke about what is the measurement of a successful AMP. The measuring of a successful AMP should be outlined and decided before the commencement of this AMP process. This way, the ARG can measure how successful the AMP is proceeding.

It is clear that strategies included in the Alice Springs AMP are to resolve local issues with local solutions. Discussion took place on how it would be best to complement the Alice Springs AMP with other AMPs in the Central Australian region, as many residents from remote communities visit Alice Springs. This is also important to ensure emerging issues do not move from one location to another.

Action: Establish a set of guidelines that outline how to measure a successful AMP.

A) Process of developing a new AMP

Jane Alley outlined:

  • Importance of understanding and identification of key stakeholders for engagement
  • The ARG to consult with stakeholders and understand their views and issues around alcohol-related harm, common themes, priorities and potential solutions
  • Understand previous research and literature, alcohol data, trends and themes
  • Identify possible solutions to reduce alcohol-related harms

Discussion took place on whether a workshop style meeting should occur at the next ARG. The purpose of the workshop is to extract ideas relating to common themes, potential solutions, alcohol data and stakeholder engagement.

Further discussion took place regarding whether members would be prepared to revisit historical electronic scanning systems. Most members agreed this is a better and fairer system than the current arrangements; however, some members were not sure and/or wanted to consider this further. It was also agreed that no single strategy would be implemented until a broad scope of strategies are ready to address supply, harm and demand aspects of an AMP. This includes community consultation and time to work through proposed strategies.

Action: NTG to investigate a Consultant to hold an AMP workshop with ARG members at the next ARG meeting Focus to begin the process of shaping an AMP – agreed goals, objectives, success measures, alcohol data and trends, review previous alcohol measures/ strategies, identify current alcohol issues and priorities, , potential solutions, and the way forward in developing an AMP etc. This is to include development of a timeline.

5 Other Business

A) Schedule of 2014 ARG Meetings

It was discussed that until the draft AMP is completed that the ARG meetings to be held monthly. It is envisaged this will be at least the first three ARG meetings.

The May meeting is to be scheduled for Tuesday 13 May from 1.30 – 4.30pm.

The June meeting is to be scheduled for Tuesday 3 June from 3- 5pm.

Meeting concluded at 3.30pm.

Department of Business1