The Northern Territory government is dismissing calls to reinstate its Banned Drinkers Register (BDR), saying Canberra should mind its own business.
Acting Chief Minister Robyn Lambley on Wednesday rejected a call from Prime Minister Julia Gillard to reinstate the BDR, which was scrapped by the Country Liberal Party (CLP) soon after taking power last year.
'For Julia Gillard to start dictating from Canberra how we should implement alcohol policies and what they should be is an absolute nonsense,' Ms Lambley told ABC radio.
Ms Lambley, who will soon meet with Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin in Canberra, said she would tell Ms Macklin how unimpressed she was with the PM's words.
'I think that she should be listening to us more than we should be listening to them,' Ms Lambley said.
The BDR required people buying takeaway alcohol to show photo ID, which was scanned and checked against a list of problem drunks, who were then prevented from purchase.
On Wednesday, Ms Gillard in her Closing the Gap speech on indigenous disadvantage attacked the NT government for its move to scrap the register.
'I have a real fear that the rivers of grog that wreaked such havoc among indigenous communities are starting to flow once again,' Ms Gillard said.
She drew connections between the scrapping by the Country Liberal Party of the BDR and five recent alcohol-related deaths in Alice Springs.
Ms Gillard said her government would 'take action in response to any irresponsible policy changes' that could forfeit hard-won gains.
Speaking on ABC radio, federal Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon said the government had power when it came to bush communities but reinstating the BDR should be a matter of conscience for the NT government.