A five-year battle against the construction of a large-scale Dan Murphy’s liquor outlet in Darwin could be at an end, as the Northern Territory government introduces legislation aimed at resolving the stand-off.
Woolworths, which owns Dan Murphy’s, has been seeking to build its first outlet in the Northern Territory but has been knocked back by the NT’s Liquor Commission.
The independent body ruled against the building of the site, in part because it would be within two kilometres of three dry Aboriginal communities – Bagot, Kulaluk and Minmarama – and would increase the risk of “harmful consequences.”
In it’s decision, the Liquor Commission said: “…the harmful consequences of easier access to cheaper alcohol…will be significant and greatly outweigh the benefits the store would provide.”
Community members, health groups and Aboriginal organisations appeared before the commission to say the proposed store would result in more domestic violence, child neglect and deaths.
After five years of lobbying, a final decision is expected to be made within thirty days as urgent legislation was tabled in parliament on Tuesday and set to be passed this week.
Caterina Georgi, the CEO of non-profit alcohol research organisation FARE, says the new legislation is a “Dan Murphy’s bill.”