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NT government slammed over latest alcohol initiative

NT government slammed over latest alcohol initiative

Retail Drinks Australia has declared the Northern Territory government is "drunk on power" following the announcement of its latest alcohol initiative.

Under its new Alcohol Secure scheme, licensed businesses, including small retailers, can access $10,000 for security works to prevent alcohol being stolen from their premises. There is also an offer for a dollar for dollar co-contribution of an another $10,000.

However, Retail Drinks chief executive Julie Ryan told the NT News the move is designed to hide the Government’s other intentions. NT businesses are facing costs of up to $250,000 to comply with changes to liquor legislation recommended by the Riley Review.

“From the first day of the announcement of the reforms, it was clear that the Government was unfairly targeting small business,” she said.

“(These) $10,000 grants are offensive to the stores already facing ruin.”

The Retail Drinks Australia website notes: "In one of the most brazen attacks on family-run small businesses in the NT, the government is trying to further restrict the sale of alcohol.

"Proposed new laws would slash the already tight limits on how much alcohol small businesses can sell, restricting hard working families’ ability to service their communities.

"NT small businesses have been under pressure for a long time, and these proposed changes will just make it tougher, putting the livelihoods of hard working Territorians at risk.

"If these laws go ahead, not only will local shops suffer, their communities will have less access to food and everyday essentials.

It is urging members to sign a petition that claims government is going too far trying to stop family businesses serving their communities.

Click here to access the petition.

Berry Springs IGA X-press owner Russell Willing told the NT News: “This government appears to want us to build walls to separate liquor. Building a wall is no simple feat in many stores.”

Hospitality NT chief executive officer Des Crowe has welcomed the new Alcohol Secure program.

“We have been discussing this issue with the Government and the impact of alcohol theft and damage to licenses premises, including many restaurants, was having on our industry,” he said.

“The new Alcohol Secure program will go a long way to facilitating further preventive methods, to deter business break-ins associated with access to alcohol.”