Endeavour Drink’s application to open its first Dan Murphy’s Darwin store has been rejected by the NT Liquor Commission.
Endeavour Drinks has been involved in a four-year battle to open its first Northern Territory store.
Endeavour Drinks GM Corporate Services Shane Tremble told NT News: “We’re disappointed with the decision because it means the Northern Territory continues to miss out on new investment, jobs and greater shopping choice for local customers.
“We always treat our responsible service obligations very seriously and have a strong track record in this area over many decades in close consultation with local police and community groups.”
“We’re carefully reviewing the decision and considering our next steps.”
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he was disappointed in the Liquor Commission’s decision.
“Territorians want a Dan Murphy’s,” he noted. “I want to see a Dan Murphy’s in Darwin.
“Today’s decision is a kick in the guts for responsible drinkers, who want more choice in the Darwin market.
The Liquor Commission’s main objection to the proposal was its location in Darwin’s new airport commercial precinct.
The site is near Darwin’s largest Aboriginal community at Bagot, and within two kilometres of two other communities, Kulaluk and Minmarama.
Leaders in those communities, as well as other Aboriginal health organisations, had urged the commission to reject the application because of existing high levels of alcohol-related problems, including domestic violence and other crimes.
NT Airports acting chief executive Ross Baynes said: “We are disheartened and frustrated to learn of the Liquor Commission’s decision today, as it puts a stop to a circa $30 million development that provides 150 jobs during construction and 30 to 50 jobs post construction especially when Darwin is facing one of its toughest economic times for decades,” he said.
“This decision sends a very clear message to interstate investors – The NT is not open for business.”
Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis also expressed his disappointment that Dan Murphy’s Darwin store plans had been rejected: “If we are going to support and attract business to come we have to make it easier for people to come to Darwin.
“I understand we have alcohol problems but once again the kind of people who cause problems aren’t the kind of people who go to Dan Murphy’s.”
Dan Murphy’s ponders location change
Endeavour Drinks Group business development manager James Scott-Mackenzie said time constraints may rule out a relocation of the proposed store.
The company has 28 days to appeal the decision and find a new location. It is currently reviewing its options.