New Chair for NT’s Liquor Commission

March 2, 2023
By Ioni Doherty

The Northern Territory Government has announced new appointments to its Liquor Commission, the body that regulates liquor licensing in the territory.

Policy lawyer, Russell Goldflam has been appointed Chair – with current Chair Richard Coates retiring – and barrister Jodi Truman is Deputy Chair, both bring a wealth of legal and community expertise to the commission. both sitting on the board for the past five years.

Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles said: “We are putting Territorians first with world-leading alcohol reforms to cut alcohol related harm and reduce antisocial behaviour in our community. This included measures like the Banned Drinkers Register, risk-based licensing and Police Auxiliary Liquor Inspectors – but we know there is still more work to do.

“Members for the Liquor Commission have years of experience in the health, legal and business space. Chaired by Russell Goldflam and Jodi Truman respectively, the board will have independent decision making powers about liquor licences, and hearing determinations.”

The commission is made up of nine board members representing the legal, health and industry sectors. The terms of the appointment expired last month.

When Richard Coates was appointed to the position of Chair of the Liquor Commission in 2018, the organisation sat within the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice. However in 2020, it shifted to homes and since then has sat within the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade.

Mr Coates suggested in his final annual report for the Commission that the responsibilities of the Commission and the DITT are not always simpatico as “some proposals from businesses associated
with the Territory’s liquor industry, which might be regarded by DITT as beneficial for the overall
development of business within the Territory, will not always be judged by the Commission as
‘in the public interest’.”

He said: “In my view, there is an inherent tension between the goal of promoting the economic
development of the liquor industry and the responsibilities of the Commission under the [Liquor] Act [of 2019]. Those tensions will need to be carefully and sensitively managed if the Commission is to remain
within DITT.”

New Liquor Commission appointments includes:

  • Russell Goldflam, Chairperson
  • Jodi Truman, Deputy Chairperson
  • Rachael Shanahan
  • Denys Stedman

They join current Liquor Commission members: Phillip Carson, Elizabeth Stephenson, Bernard Dwyer, Katrina Fong Lim and Dr Sean Taylor.

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