Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Public drunkenness and public posturing

I wasn’t at the Forum on Homelessness/Public Drunkenness yesterday so can only respond to The Bulletin’s reporting of Mandy Johnstone’s press release and Councillor Dale Last’s throw away comments.
A few things struck me about the report:
  • The idea of mandatory (forced) alcohol rehabilitation (presumably the issue requiring legislative change) is a nonsense – mandatory detox perhaps but nobody can force anybody to be rehabilitated (except perhaps former Chinese Governments).

  • Will such mandatory rehabilitation also apply to the nightclub drunks regularly arrested in Flinders St East?

  • Dale Last’s proposed 6pm curfew got knocked on the head – presumably because someone with some smarts at the meeting pointed out that to do so would in all probability be illegal under Human Rights and/or Anti-discrimination legislation – especially as it presumably wouldn’t apply to the drunk whitefellas roaming Flinders St East and filling up the coffers of the club and pub owners at all hours of the night and morning.

  • There are apparently about 60 rough sleepers in the Town - from my understanding, about the same number there were about five years ago (and probably well before that). Not exactly the “burgeoning” issue that The Bully likes to beat up.

  • There was no detail provided about housing responses to the needs of the rough sleepers – perhaps the one response that would get this group “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” as our civic leaders so desperately want.

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