Background

In 1995 key stakeholders from the community joined together to work at reducing the negative impact of alcohol in the Kakadu/West Arnhem region.  The group has continued as the Gunbang Action Group (GAG) – Gunbang being the local Aboriginal word for alcohol.

Especially since the Northern Territory Emergency Intervention, the GAG has been more focused on issues in the Kakadu area.  It still stays informed of developments in neighbouring areas (e.g. Gunbalanya) and tries to coordinate with initiatives in those other areas as much as possible.

The GAG is recognised as a significant reference group for activities relating to alcohol and other drug use in the region.  While the Park Director approves the conditions governing the sale of alcohol in Kakadu National Park, the Park Management Plan identifies GAG as one of the key organisations which has to be consulted in the process.

The membership of GAG comprises government departments and local community and business interests.  It meets every two to three months.  The current member orgnisations include:

  • Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation
  • Jabiru Police
  • All licensed premises (Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel, Jabiru Sports and Social Club, Cooinda Lodge Kakadu, Jabiru Golf Club, Kakadu Lodge, Aurora Kakadu)
  • NT Department of Health (Alcohol and Other Drugs Program)
  • Jabiru Health Clinic
  • NT Department of Business (Gambling and Licensing Services; Alcohol Policy & Strategy)
  • West Arnhem Council
  • Energy Resources Australia (ERA)
  • Warnbi Aboriginal Corporation
  • NT Department of Education
  • Parks Australia
  • Children's Ground

The Chair of GAG is selected from the membership and different organisations have filled the position over time.  The current Chair is Justin O’Brien from the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation.

A Bininj Reference Group works in partnership with the Gunbang Action Group.  This is a network linking a dozen local homelands spread across the area.  It provides an avenue for local Aboriginal people living in the area to raise issues and concerns and to recommend actions for minimising the harm arising from alcohol and other substances.  It ensures Aboriginal people are part of the decision-making processes that can affect them.