KEEP GROG OUT
For five years, Woolworths Group has been fighting to open a Dan Murphy’s superstore near three dry Aboriginal communities - Bagot, Kulaluk and Minmarama Park - in the Northern Territory. ELDERS SAY NO!
Elders, community leaders and Aboriginal health organisations have been persistent in their opposition to the proposal. Possible risks of opening a Dan Murphy’s in this area include alcohol-fueled violence, pedestrian safety, and the erosion of culture.
Aunty Helen Fejo-Frith of the Bagot community has been particularly vocal and strong in fighting Woolworth’s Group.
In solidarity with Aunty Helen and the Bagot community, Blak Business founded a petition to raise public awareness about the issue and to pressure Woolworths Group to revoke their application.
The following videos from Aboriginal Elders and community leaders explain why Dan Murphy's is not welcome in Bagot. Listen to our Elders. Support Aunty Helen and Bagot.
ACTIONS FOR SUPPORTING THE FIGHT AGAINST WOOLWORTHS GROUP
1. Sign the petition
Click the image above or visit: change.org/KeepGrogOut
2. Share content
No matter the size of your platform, you are in a position of power to amplify the voices of Aunty Helen and other concerned community members.
Share and repost content with #ShameWoolies #KeepGrogOut and tag @Woolworths
We have created posts for you to share:
3. Call Michael Gunner
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
Phone: 08 8936 5500
Call Michael Gunner to express your opposition. Some suggested talking points are:
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I’m one of the 138,000 people who have signed the petition opposing the building of a Dan Murphy’s superstore near three dry Aboriginal communities.
The passing of the urgent legislation which forces the Director of Liquor Licensing to make a decision on this dishonours the voices, experience and requests of Bagot Elders like Aunty Helen who are calling for the liquor superstore not to be opened.
It is shameful that the government wants to ignore the requests of local Aboriginal people and disregard health and well-being.
Thank you for your time.
5. Shop elsewhere
If you have the option, shop locally or at other retail stores and supermarkets.
Woolworths Group owns a number of retail stores including Big W, BWS, Dan Murphy’s, and Woolworths Supermarkets as well as licensed venues with gambling services.
In July 2020, Woolworths Group-owned business ALH Group was fined $172k for “systematically” giving patrons free alcohol to encourage their gambling at two NSW hotels.
You can access a full list of Woolworths Group owned businesses here.
6. Email Woolworths Group
Contact Woolworths Group employees expressing opposition to the Dan Murphy’s proposal.
To prevent your email being automatically redirected to spam, please edit wording below or construct your own email.
I am writing in strong opposition to the proposal to have a Dan Murphy's liquor store opened in the Northern Territory near three Aboriginal communities; Bagot, Kulaluk and Minmarama Park. I support the stance of Bagot Elders.
Dan Murphy's RSA commitment, as advertised on your website states that you are a "committed, responsible community member" which "actively pursue harm minimisation". You further state that you "go above and beyond legal compliance to help create an environment that can be enjoyed by all and to always add value to the community rather than adding harm”. The hypocrisy here is not lost on me.
Alcohol is not something which can be enjoyed by all peoples or all communities. This is true in all parts of the nation; metro, regional and rural areas. Bagot is a community tackling the negative impacts of alcohol and has asked for Dan Murphy's to not be built on this site. There is a strong, consistent vocal opposition by local community members and Elders about the harm that your business will cause to the community and yet you've remained persistent in your proposal. In 2013, Aunty Helen said: “The majority of black fellas in Bagot are drinkers and it's killing us” and this year she said "Domestic violence is a big problem because of alcohol. The alcohol seems to boost the emotions and then they end up having that fight, harming themselves or others”. Here I fail to see how your persistence aligns with your own community stance and intention.
The Liquor Commission provided evidence to show that these communities are vulnerable to alcohol related harm and no amount of harm reduction can overturn these concerns for safety.
Finally, I encourage you to put yourself in the shoes of the mothers and fathers of the Bagot community who had to explain to their children the recent tragedy; this is not normal. I particularly bring your attention to a community comment in response to the incident: "There's been a lot of drinking, alcohol going around here lately … next thing you know, it just gets out of hand,".
More than ever there is great focus being given to Bla(c)k Lives Matter. Alcohol near a dry, Aboriginal community is a direct threat to the Aboriginal community and everything this movement stands for. I urge you to listen to community voices, to do the right thing and to remove your proposal.
[YOUR NAME HERE]
7. Submit feedback to Woolworths
Submit a feedback form to Woolworths Group expressing opposition to the Dan Murphy’s proposal by following the following steps:
Select: Store brand N/A
Select: Something else not in this list
Write: “I am writing in strong opposition to the proposal to have a Dan Murphy's liquor store opened in Darwin near Bagot. I support the stance of Bagot Elders and encourage you to reconsider your application”.
Woolworths Group repeatedly targets vulnerable communities, favouring alcohol profit over people.
On Darkinjung Country (Lake Haven), Woolworths Group has applied to open a Dan Murphy's close to a high school, bus interchange, library, youth centre, Headspace, skate park, Centrelink and public housing. This community is currently challenged with domestic violence, underage drinking and crime.
Notably, Woolworths Group previously applied to open a BWS store in Lake Haven and were rejected because of the probable negative social impact. The proposed Dan Murphy's would be six times the size of the rejected BWS.
On Whadjuk Noongar (Maylands), Woolworths Group applied to open a Dan Murphy's opposite the train station which was already a hotspot for street drinking and alcohol-related crime. The application was unsuccessful.
On Boon Wurrung Country (Cranbourne East), Woolworths Group opened a Dan Murphy's in an area with a high level of alcohol-related behaviour including family violence and crime.
Local officer, Sergeant Ian Lane, said that alcohol was likely to be a factor in one in four family violence reports for 2015.
Woolworths Group's allyship is tokenistic and performative.
In 2020, Woolworths Group partnered with the National NAIDOC Committee to distribute NAIDOC posters in their stores. It was in NAIDOC Week 2020 that legislation was rushed through NT Parliament.
“The absolute hypocrisy of Woolworths taking this action, while being a partner of NAIDOC Week, is almost unbelievable" (FARE, 2020).
Further, Dan Murphy’s claims to be a:
"Committed, responsible community member... [that goes] above and beyond legal compliance to help create an environment that can be enjoyed by all and to always add value to the community rather than adding harm”.
Woolworths Group also have an Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.
Olivia speaking on ABC Radio Darwin (time: 1:34:53- 1:40:44)