The Federal Government has drawn a line in the sand for alcohol management in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.
Minimum standards guidelines for Alcohol Management Plans (AMPs) in the Territory have been released by Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin.
She says she expects them to result in more restrictions on grog in Territory communities.
Ms Macklin is in Darwin to announce the guidelines, which form part of the Federal Government's Stronger Futures Legislation.
She says for a plan to be accepted, it needs to state how it aims to reduce alcohol-related harm.
"Aboriginal people have made it clear to me that alcohol abuse and the violence that comes with it is destroying their families," she said.
"Many people have said it to me, and they expect the federal minister to stand up for them, the people who are the most vulnerable, and stand up for the protection they deserve."
Ms Macklin says individual communities will have a hand in developing their own AMPs.
"In putting forward an AMP (Alcohol Management Plan) the community will need to think about how it is going to reduce harm, not how it will increase harm," she said.
"I think you'll see the vast majority of communities will say they want to look at how they can restrict access to alcohol."
While Aboriginal communities will have a direct say in the formulation of their AMPs, she says she will be taking a hands-on approach in authorising them.
Ms Macklin intends meeting Territory Chief Minister Terry Mills to discuss the possible reintroduction of the Banned Drinker Register (BDR).
The BDR was scrapped soon after the Country Liberals Government was elected last year.
"It was certainly demonstrating it had a positive effect," Ms Macklin said.
There has been speculation that the Federal Government may link the provision of funding for some Territory Government programs to its response to Commonwealth demands.
The AMPs will need to address five minimum standards.
Ms Macklin has placed some restrictions on the formulation of any new AMPs.
They should be developed in consultation with vulnerable groups, including women and children, the elderly, traditional owners, and those who don't drink.
They must include what role and responsibilities police, health providers and local liquor licences will have.
They must identify strategies to reduce harm from alcohol abuse, such as controlling supply, reducing demand, as well as providing community patrols and sobering-up shelters.
Each community AMP will also have to clearly mark out the geographical area to which it applies.
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