Greg Marks

Anna Krien (‘Booze Territory’, September) accepts the myth that the intervention has led to a stricter regime in respect of alcohol and Indigenous communities, and that this purported tightening-up on alcohol at a community level has resulted in a drift of the Indigenous population to urban areas. At best this view is a gross oversimplification, not least because the intervention has replaced a community-driven system of alcohol control and restriction under Northern Territory legislation with a less effective Commonwealth regime. Not only does the intervention legislation provide weaker penalties, it makes effective prosecution and sentencing more difficult. Instead, the upsurge in the drift to urban areas is primarily the result of the conscious and deliberate policy, driven at Commonwealth level, of disinvestment in most non-urban Northern Territory Indigenous communities.

Greg Marks

Curtin, ACT