The Northern Territory is rebuffing overtures from the federal government to bring back the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR).

Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin on Tuesday was in Darwin to release guidelines for alcohol management plans in the NT.

During the visit, she told reporters: "We have called on the NT government to reinstate the Banned Drinkers Register."

The register meant anyone buying takeaway alcohol had to have identification, such as a driver's licence scanned. About 2000 problem drinkers were on a list denying them purchase of alcohol.

But the Country Liberal Party (CLP), which took office in the NT in August last year, said the BDR did not work and scrapped the measure.

NT Chief Minister Terry Mills met with Ms Macklin on Tuesday and told her the NT would not rethink introducing the BDR.

"She asked a number of times would I reconsider and the answer is no," Mr Mills said.

"It is a scheme that doesn't work," he told AAP.

Asked whether he feared the federal government would use its power to force the NT to re-introduce the BDR, Mr Mills said discussions were continuing.

"We want to deal with the problem but we don't believe that the BDR is an effective measure to deal with the problem," he said.

Earlier Ms Macklin met with Aboriginal groups and said they had made it clear they understood the damage alcohol was doing to their communities.

"That is why they support the development of alcohol management plans. That is why Aboriginal people support the introduction of the banned drinkers register," Ms Macklin said.

Fellow Labor MP Warren Snowdon said the days when the federal government imposed measures on the NT should be over.

"We are past the day when the Commonwealth should have to intervene in the Northern Territory," Mr Snowdon said.

Ms Macklin was asked whether some communities would be able to have alcohol restrictions lifted under the new guidelines.

"It is not about how to bring back full strength beer," she said.

"I certainly won't be agreeing to any alcohol management plans that don't reduce harm."

But a fact sheet on the new guidelines shows communities can seek to have restrictions lifted.

"Applications will be considered very carefully to make sure improvements to the safety of women, children and families in communities are not lost," the sheet states.


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