#BoycottWoolworths trends again as the corporate giant pushes to develop a massive Dan Murphy’s near 3 dry Aboriginal communities in Darwin.
Back in 2019, the Northern Territory Liquor Commission rejected a bid by the Woolworths-owned Endeavour Drinks Group (EDG) to develop a super-sized Dan Murphy’s liquor store in Darwin. The commission stated that the proposed location was inappropriate due to the risk of increased alcohol-related harm to nearby vulnerable Aboriginal communities, who would be in walking distance of the store.
Now, a government decision to fast-track the application and build the Dan Murphy’s, despite the 2019 ruling, has caused an uproar.
On Tuesday, Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner revealed the government’s decision to fast-track Woolworths’ application. This would be done by introducing legislation which would not require the Director of Liquor Licensing to consider public interest or community impact requirements – effectively voiding the decision made by the NT Liquor Commission last year.
The announcement has received immense backlash from the public, as well as community organisations, who have appealed to stakeholders in the development to rescind their plans. A Change.org petition, ‘Keep Grog Out Of Our Communities’, is also gaining traction, with over 100,000 signatures at the time of writing.
#NAIDOC2020 encourages us to listen to the knowledge & lived experiences of Aboriginal communities.
In that spirit, let’s listen to what Helen Fejo-Frith, a Bagot Community Elder, has to say about plans to build a giant Dan Murphy’s in Darwin- and ask Woolies to hear her message pic.twitter.com/Dwt5XBDARG
— FARE (@FAREAustralia) November 11, 2020
The hypocrisy of the decision by Woolworths to push their application during NAIDOC week, despite Aboriginal community resistance, has been voiced by John Paterson, CEO of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT).
“It’s unbelievable that during NAIDOC Week, the NT Government is introducing legislation to weaken the very structures that it established to review liquor licences and keep communities safe,” Paterson described.
“While Woolworths makes its profits, and the Government turns a blind eye, the health and wellbeing of Darwin’s people will suffer.”
“The absolute hypocrisy of Woolworths taking this action, while being a partner of NAIDOC Week, is almost unbelievable.” says John Paterson from @AMSANTaus about Woolworths plan to build a Dan Murphy’s close to three dry communities #shamewoolies https://t.co/dwKo3j3X5D
— Alcohol Programs Team, Cancer Council WA (@AlcoholPolicyWA) November 12, 2020
To sign or donate to the petition, head here.