The Northern Territory Liquor Amendment Act 2023 has commenced changing a number of rules in the Territory, and continuing the Government’s target of tackling the long-term challenges of alcohol-related harm.

Adding to measures in the Territory such as Banned Drinker Register, the floor price, PALIs, and risk-based licensing framework, the new Act sees town camps and communities revert to dry zones, with a clear and robust opt-out process requiring the development of a Community Alcohol Plan.

These new changes focus on local decision making, under which a Community Alcohol Plan needs to be developed by the community and approved by 60 per cent of the community and by the Director of Liquor Licensing to opt-out. The Government said this approach will ensure the opt-out is in the public interest and will not have significant adverse impacts.

Chief Minister and Minister for Alcohol Policy, Natasha Fyles: “This is a new approach. It is community-led with local decision making, and will be coupled with a major investment in the hard work of addressing the causes of alcohol misuse and anti-social behaviour.

“These restrictions are also temporary, providing us time to invest in new, smarter, long-term reforms required to break the cycle of alcohol, crime and disadvantage.

“People in the Territory want safer communities now. They also want us to address the issue at its source so that our communities continue to be safer in the future.”

Further targeted consultation will now also take place to develop the Regulations of the Act. These will supplement the criteria in the Act by providing the requirements for Community Alcohol Plans, including how the vote will take place, what consultation is required in the Plan’s development, and the matters the plan is required to address.

The Government also said an educative approach will be taken to ensure communities and licensees are aware that these restrictions are now in place.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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