I too have been utterly appalled by the toll of young men who have been killed on our streets over recent months and I share a quote from our PM on the subject:
While, we all want to see the courts absolutely throw the book at people who perpetrate this kind of gratuitous, unprovoked violence, we have to recognise that courts can only act after a crime.
The challenge for officialdom at every level, for the police, for pubs and clubs as well as for parents and young people is to tackle the binge drinking culture and the violent behaviour that is accompanying it. We also have to identify if drugs like steroids are also contributing to this outbreak of violent behaviour. There is enough anecdotal evidence from police and our emergency rooms that what we are seeing is not fuelled by alcohol alone. All too often alcohol is consumed along with other drugs such as ice and other amphetamines.
We need to tackle this issue in a comprehensive and considered way. We don’t need knee-jerk reactions and stunts that give the illusion of action, but don’t make any real, lasting difference.
Where possible, we need community solutions between police, local government, pubs and clubs and residents. Some communities have already demonstrated that progress can be made and many pubs, clubs and alcohol providers have discovered it is better to solve a problem and be part of the solution, than have a solution imposed on them.
We have to approach this in a way that actually makes our streets safer. That means we have to resist the idea that one single action will change everything; that one group is responsible for this problem or that one politician has the answer or is the cause of the problem. While this is not an easy area, with much control in the hands of state and local governments, the Commonwealth stands ready to work with the states, parents and communities to tackle this scourge.
Alcohol has and always will be part of life in our country – and most countries in the world. Our challenge as a people is to ensure that we get the balance right again. Few of us can say we have been perfect when it comes to alcohol in our lives – but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t as individuals and as a society work harder at tackling dangerous behaviour and keeping our communities safer. After all, alcohol should be about adding to our celebrations rather than detracting from them.
We obviously need a culture shift among the great unwashed so that the need in the male ego that needs to be, and be seen as, a warrior is properly satisfied. However one thing that Tony Abbott is wrong about and that is his suggestion that “throwing the book” at these cowards is in anyway sufficient. No matter how you cut it there is no punishment that one of these killers can expect for their cowardly thuggery that is adequate. Maybe for this class of criminal transgression we need to force the miscreants to become organ donors rather than expecting the families of their victims to salvage some solace from the needless demise of young men like Daniel Christie by donating his organs. Thus, assuming that the drug crazed murdering scum-bags’ vicera are viable for transplant we can both remove a blight upon Australian manhood from our society and provide a chance of a better life to at least a dozen far more deserving Aussies. Heck if these killers are at all contrite we could even give them the kindness of rendering them unconscious while their bits are harvested…