By Ian Neubauer
The trial of a new accord restricting the sale of certain types of liquor in the Queensland town of Mount Isa has already borne positive results, police said.
As part of the trial, Mount Isa taxi drivers have agreed not to collect alcohol for intoxicated persons from off-premise outlets. Managers of off-premise outlets have also agreed not to sell cask alcohol until 12 noon, while on-premise licensees have agreed not to serve shooters after 1am despite their 5am trading licence.
“It actually only started on the first of January but the feedback from the community has been extremely positive,” said Police Superintendent Les Hopkins, adding that the restriction on the sale of shooters has already resulted in a decrease in the number of late-night calls for police services.
According to the ABC, up to 90 per cent of calls for police services in the Mount Isa district are alcohol-related.
Hopkins said about 50 to 70 Aboriginal people had moved to Mount Isa from the Northern Territory and were “living rough” in the town’s riverbed. He said the migration followed the implementation of tough new restrictions on the sale of alcohol in the Territory that went into effect late last year.
Hopkins said it was difficult to ascertain if the high number of alcohol-related calls in Mount Isa were related to the recent migration. “At this stage it would be wrong of me to suggest that. But that can change at any given time,” he said.