Dan Murphy’s objectors give evidence at NT liquor inquiry

June 12, 2019
By Alana House

Police have told the NT Liquor Commission the location chosen for Dan Murphy’s first Darwin outlet is the site of daily violence and anti-social behaviour.

Police Commander Travis Wurst said problems around the proposed outlet near Darwin Airport begin as early as 10am each day.

“When the (existing) alcohol outlets are open, takeaway outlets particularly, we see the anti-social behaviour in this area, the greater area within a 5km radius of the site that’s proposed,” he said.

“It peaks at about 8-9pm and then it comes off that peak and then it starts to escalate again at 10am.”

But Cmdr Wurst admitted the problems were so entrenched they were likely continue regardless.

“Whether Dan Murphy’s is there or not the issues, unfortunately, I would suggest, will remain while there’s takeaway alcohol available,” he said.

An artist's impression of the proposed Dan Murphy's Darwin store.
An artist’s impression of the proposed Dan Murphy’s store.

An NT Liquor Commission inquiry into whether Endeavour Drinks Group should be allowed to transfer transfer its existing licence from a defunct BWS in Stuart Park to the proposed Dan Murphy’s concluded this week.

Menzies School of Health Research alcohol researcher James Smith gave evidence at the hearing, saying he felt the proposed location of the store was problematic, as it was close to light industrial areas and Aboriginal communities.

The outlet would also be within a five-minute walk of the Darwin Indigenous Men’s Service.

However, EDG’s barrister, Alistair Wyvill SC argued it would make little difference as the next closest liquor store was only 15 minutes walk away.

Darwin drinkers could save $4million if application approved

EDG business development manager James Scott-Mackenzie told the hearing a block of VB currently retailing in Darwin for $73 could sell for as little as $54.60 at the new Dan Murphy’s, while still complying with the Territory’s alcohol floor price legislation. The price is just $4.60 more than the same product at Dan Murphy’s in Perth.

Scott-Mackenzie acknowledged there was an issue with people sleeping rough near the proposed development site.

But he said “roaming patrols” of security would keep an eye on the area, making sure people weren’t drinking in the scrubland and reporting suspect groups to police or Larrakia Nation.

The commission heard the defunct BWS at Stuart Park had stopped selling cask wine out of concern for the welfare of some local indigenous people, but Woolworths national responsible service manager Kay Attard confirmed Dan Murphy’s would be selling cask wine.

The commission is expected to hand down its decision on the licence application at a later date.

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