The Northern Territory Opposition says the Government's mandatory alcohol rehabilitation scheme in the town of Katherine is in a state of chaos.

It has been six weeks since the Territory-wide scheme started but in Katherine, about 300 kilometres south of Darwin, not a single problem drinker has been ordered into rehab.

That is despite six people reaching the trigger point of having been taken in to police protective custody three times for drunkenness.

The Territory Health Department says four of those people face pending criminal charges and, therefore, do not qualify for the mandatory rehabilitation program.

Another has absconded twice from clinical assessments at Katherine Hospital.

The last person could not undergo assessment because the facility was being used by a person of a different gender.

Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie says the system is a shambles.

"[It is] a chronic waste of taxpayer dollars," she said.

Ms Lawrie says all 12 beds set aside for the scheme at the town's rehab centre remain empty.

"People are not staying in the mandatory rehab system; they are absconding, it is not working," she said.

"Doctors are under duress, nurses are under duress and the streets are full of drunks."

The town's Venndale alcohol rehabilitation centre has been running at capacity for years, with most of its clients ordered there as part of criminal court cases.

When the Territory Government launched its compulsory rehab scheme in June, it quarantined 12 of the centre's 40 beds for the exclusive use of the program.


Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.




If you have any questions or concerns please email us on


  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.