This is the third of four extracts from the speech given by Marion Scrymgour on 8 October 2014 at the 2014 H.C. “Nugget” Coombs Memorial Lecture at Charles Darwin University, Darwin.
You can read the first here and the second here.
The NT Intervention consisted of those measures which impacted in that way on a whole population. The term does not apply to the good stuff which everyone wanted to happen.
I’m only going to touch on two of the Intervention measures tonight.
Firstly, alcohol restrictions.
Pat Anderson coined the term ‘rivers of grog’, and it was seized upon by the media and Mr Brough. Unfortunately, the impression that seems to have taken hold down south was that the place where the rivers of grog were flowing was in remote Aboriginal communities.
The vast majority of those communities were alcohol-free areas under existing Territory law. While interdicting the illegal transportation of alcohol into such communities was an ongoing challenge for Police, to suggest that the alcohol problem in communities was in any way comparable to the carnage which was taking place in the main population centres was ludicrous.