Liquor laws outdated and a review is vital

Letters, Normal

The National

I REFER to your headline “Alcohol ban” (Aug 17).
To be frank, banning alcohol in Simbu province will not bring about overnight solutions.
If the district administrator has done his research properly, he would note that people would frequent hotels and the ban would have been in vain.
Hence, family problems will not be lessened but increased as drinkers would now have to fork up more money to obtain alcohol at hotels.
The rural people, who cannot obtain alcohol at hotel prices, will resort to bottlegging and illicit substances such as drugs and homebrew.
Further, the report on a joint survey taken by the National Narcotics Bureau and the National Liquor Licensing Commission in 2001 to assess the impact of a blanket alcohol ban imposed by the Highlands premiers secretariat in the 1990s, remains to be tabulated.
The capacity of these two organisations to produce this report is questionable given the on-going management saga they are embroiled in.
Elsewhere in the country, the problem of alcohol abuse is rampant. 
With the expected increase in the spin-offs and monetary benefits from the LNG project, alcohol abuse and related-problems are anticipated to increase. 
The acting Chief Secretary to the Government is also the Chief Liquor  Commissioner of PNG.
He is in a better position to advice the National Government on the magnitude of the problem. 
Seriously, our liquor laws are outdated and need a wholesome review.


Tom Soles