The Demon Drink

It's closing time at the local pub, and the main street of Borroloola, 730 km southeast of Darwin, has erupted in a series of drunken brawls. Spilling from the beer garden, heavily intoxicated Aborigines hurl cans, stones and abuse ("F___ you, c___, I'll kill you") at each other. At the hostel across the road, guests watching the communal television barely flinch. "We are so used to it now," says owner Trish Elmy, who sometimes puts up a barrier of water sprinklers to deter the mob from fighting near—or collapsing in—her property. "We know nothing gets done, so what can we do?"...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!