I have been successful thus far in refraining from entering into ‘quotes of the week’, but after reading this one on Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett’s blog, I couldn’t resist. However, as I’m not likely to post another quote of the week next week, nor the week after, it’ll simply remain the ‘Quote of the indefinite period of time’.

Some Background

The ‘intervention’, which I have been writing about here quite regularly over the past six weeks, involves many legislative changes; CDEP is going to be scaled-down and eventually replaced altogether by a Commonwealth work-for-the-dole scheme (so it can be quarantined), the permit system will be scrapped, the reason being that it hasn’t prevented grog/porn runners or child abusers entering communities (and scrapping it would fix that?), among other changes that are too numerous and complex to do justice to here.

One of the more contentious legislative changes though, is that alcohol will be banned in communities and town camps throughout the Territory, in an effort to stop the ‘rivers of grog’. However, fisheries and tourism groups were a bit annoyed at this, as plenty of people enjoy going out on the tinny, catching a barramundi and knocking back a brew. So:

There is an exemption to the alcohol restrictions for recreational fishers in their boats – trying to stop the rivers of grog, while still allowing grog on the river.

Clearly the policies aren’t very highly considered. The Northern Territory and alcohol consumption go together like, well, almost like the Northern Territory and iced-coffee consumption (anyone who’s spent any period in the NT will know what I’m talking about), so they had to expect some mainstream opposition to widespread alcohol bans.

I think it’s ludicrous to write legislation that allows one law for recreational fisherman and another for everyone else. How would the law be policed? Are you able to drink if you are simply in a boat on a river or must you have a line in the water? Even then, is one line per boat sufficient, or must every drinker have a line cast?