Alcoholism in Australia: The wives who said time, gentlemen…
The story of Fitzroy Crossing is a tragically common one among Australia’s Aborigines: rampant binge-drinking and the appalling social problems that go with it. But then the town’s women set about turning off the taps. Kathy Marks reports
On the banks of the Fitzroy river, in the remote Kimberley region of north-west Australia, stands the century-old Crossing Inn, a squat brick building with a facade adorned with paintings by local schoolchildren.
The Crossing Inn is a local landmark. It operates the only off-licence in the town, and is the source of most of the alcohol blamed for the appalling social problems that have ravaged the largely Aboriginal town of Fitzroy Crossing: domestic violence, child abuse, disease, dysfunction, premature death and suicide.
Indigenous communities across Australia suffer from such problems, indeed a recent official report blamed “rivers of grog” for a host of interconnected social ills. But few places suffer to the same extent as Fitzroy, a “forgotten” outback town of 1,500 people that barely figures on the national radar. Despite hand-wringing by politicians and media commentators, life rarely seems to gets better in such places.
But now Fitzroy may be proving the exception, thanks to the efforts of a group of local women. They decided that drastic action was needed and lobbied the state government for a 12-month ban on all takeaway alcohol sales from the Crossing Inn.
Full story at; The Independent