‘Disaster’ in Alice Springs stems from Intervention, traditional owners say, as fresh alcohol bans loom

High rates of crime and alcohol-fuelled violence plaguing Alice Springs are a legacy of the now-repealed Northern Territory Intervention, a senior traditional owner says, as the potential return of blanket alcohol bans looms.

Snap alcohol restrictions announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in a whirlwind visit took effect on Wednesday, with a decision due mid-next week on whether the Intervention-era bans should be reinstated and communities required to apply to opt out.

The bans prohibiting alcohol in remote communities and town camps across the NT expired and were lifted overnight in July last year.

NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles on Wednesday acknowledged change was needed after previously rejecting the calls of Aboriginal health groups for a more planned transition.

Senior Arrernte and Anmatjere woman Perrurle Patricia Ansell Dodds told ABC Alice Springs the current situation in the town was a “disaster”.

But she said the dysfunction was the result of Intervention policies that disempowered remote communities.

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