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Social impact evaluation of the proposed licensed club in Yarrabah



  1. Associate Professor Peter d’Abbs
  2. Dr David MacLaren


Under an Alcohol Management Plan, the sole source for purchasing alcohol in Yarrabah, near Cairns in North Queensland, was a takeaway facility permitted to sell beer, premixed spirit drinks and wine. At the same time, the whole of Yarrabah was designated a Restricted Area under Part 6A of the Liquor Act (Qld), and thereby subject to a carriage limit.

In February 2007 Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council adopted a business plan, under which a licensed club would be operated by the local Rugby League Club on premises owned by the Council and used at the time as a Youth Leisure Centre.

At around this time the community was saddened by a number of suicides. In this context, four community members wrote to the Queensland Government seeking a delay in revocation of the takeaway licence in order to allow time to consider options.

The Foundation provided a grant to the Gindaja Substance Misuse Aboriginal Corporation to conduct a Social Impact Evaluation of the proposal comprising a review of literature relevant to identifying best practice strategies for promoting responsible drinking, and minimising adverse impacts of alcohol on community residents; a community survey to gauge community opinions regarding the proposal to establish a licensed club in the community; a report outlining options for promoting responsible drinking and minimising alcohol-related harm in the community; and dissemination of findings through the report and also through a plain language broadsheet for community residents.


The report was presented to and subsequently endorsed by the Gindaja Substance Misuse Aboriginal Corporation. The report contains recommendations for the club itself, the Council, and Queensland Government agencies including Police and Licensing authorities. The recommendations are intended to ensure that, if the proposal goes ahead, the community benefits from the opportunities presented by a licensed club, and avoids the dangers.

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