An evaluation of the impact of the reduction in off-licence alcohol trading hours in Darwin and Alice Springs

  • David Tobias Harries

    Student thesis: Other thesis - CDU


    This evaluation was produced as part of the Masters Degree Program in Public Policy for the Northern Territory University with the agreement of the Department of the Chief Minister.

    The purpose of the evaluation is to determine both quantitatively and qualitatively the impact of the reduction in trading hours at off-licence alcohol outlets in Alice Springs and Darwin. Off-licence refers to outlets where alcohol may be purchased, but cannot be consumed on the premises. Its aim was to see whether the hours of sale were a factor which influenced alcohol consumption and related problems. If so, then there is an important opportunity for prevention. By contrast, if the hours of sale have little or no effect on alcohol consumption and associated problems, then there would be no need to be concerned about such legislative changes.

    The results indicated that since the new trading hours came into effect the number of litres sold by off-licence liquor outlets in Darwin and Alice Springs has not shown any appreciable decrease. However, a dramatic increase in light beer consumption was noticeable with a corresponding decrease in heavy beer consumption. This was in response to the Northern Territory government's alcohol levy which raised the price of full strength beer and made light beer cheaper.

    The Sobering-Up Shelter admissions in Alice Springs had shown a significant decrease in the total number of admissions during the 10-12noon time period but no significant change in the 9- 10pm time period. No conclusions could be made regarding the Darwin Sobering-Up Shelter as only the 1992 admissions were available. The Alice Springs Protective Custody Admissions like the Sobering-Up Shelter had shown a significant decrease in the total number of admissions during the 10- 12noon period but no change in the 9-lOpm time period was recorded. The Darwin Protective Custody admissions had recorded a significant decrease in both the 10- 12noon and 9-10pm admissions in 1992 compared with the previous two years.

    On the evidence available it is not clear whether the reduction in off-license hours in the Northern Territory has resulted in any real benefits, especially relating to the health and welfare of particularly vulnerable groups in the community.
    Date of Award1993
    Original languageEnglish

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