Advocates say PM’s Alice Springs alcohol response ignores calls for needs-based domestic violence funding

The federal government is still resisting calls for needs-based funding for domestic violence services in the Northern Territory, despite citing concerns about women’s safety as a basis for emergency alcohol restrictions.

Limits on takeaway alcohol purchases and bottle-shop opening hours in Alice Springs took effect on Wednesday following Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s emergency trip to the town on Tuesday.

It followed months of increasing crime and alcohol-fueled violence that followed the lifting of 15-year-old alcohol bans on remote Aboriginal communities and town camps.

During his visit, the prime minister promised $14.2 million in new funding for the police, $5.6 million for additional emergency accommodation and $2 million for the Tangentyere Women’s Council.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in a blue collared shirt and Akubra hat, standing outside and looking down.
Anthony Albanese flew into Alice Springs on Tuesday in response to escalating crime in the town.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)

Maree Corbo, organization manager at the Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group (TWFSG), said the funding boost would go towards community education, training in town camps and spreading awareness about available resources.

But she said long-term, needs-based funding was urgently needed.

“That is something that we have been calling for, for the longest time,” she said.

“I know that we have a small population, but we’ve also got some of the highest risk community members in all of Australia.”

Two hands holding cards place the cards among a number of bunches of flowers on some grass.
First Nations women are being murdered at up to 12 times the national average.(ABC News: Xavier Martin)

Last year, a Four Corners investigation revealed 315 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have been murdered, killed or disappeared in the last two decades.

Of those women, 70 were killed in Central Australia.

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