Bagot is often a quiet neighbourhood during the day, its silence broken by cars rushing down the nearby six-lane thoroughfare, into the heart of Darwin.

Indigenous elder Helen Fejo-Frith has lived there for nearly 22 years and said at night the neighbourhood can sometimes erupt into chaos with alcohol a contributor to the change.

“One night I thought there were a lot of cockatoos outside my house, but it wasn’t, it was people and they were talking and screaming at each other,” she told SBS News.

“It’s not good.”

Helen Fejo-Frith standing at her fence close up

Ms Fejo-Frith fears the opening of the outlet would exacerbate an underlying issue in an already troubled community

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For five years, the Woolworths-owned Endeavour Drinks Group has applied to open a Dan Murphy’s in Darwin.

Its location is about 1.1 kilometres from Bagot and within two kilometres of two other dry Indigenous communities, Kulaluk and Minmarama Park.

Ms Fejo-Frith fears the opening of the outlet would exacerbate an underlying issue in an already-troubled community.

“Normally everyone is happy and having a good time and then someone can say something wrong and it can flare up into a big argument,” she said.

Helen Fejo-Frith standing at her back fence

Ms Fejo-Frith has lived there for nearly 22 years and says at night the neighbourhood can sometimes erupt into chaos sometimes due to alcohol

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“Domestic violence is a big problem because of alcohol. The alcohol seems to boost the emotions and then they end up having that fight, harming themselves or others.

“Then you have children watching all this happening and naturally as they grow up, they’re going to think that’s the way of life and that’s not the way of life.”

Pete Murray is also a Bagot resident and lives a short distance from Ms Fejo-Frith.

His biggest concern is the worsening erosion of culture.

Bagot graffiti

The proposed location of the Dan Murphy’s is near three dry indigenous communities including Bagot

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“When I was growing up, it was always the old people telling us about our cultural way of living, our traditional law,” he told SBS News.

“It was beautiful, because you’re following it and you feel good about it. But now it’s gone. Why? Alcohol and drugs, there’s plenty of them here.”

Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory CEO John Patterson said apart from the proximity to the dry communities, the safety of pedestrians around the proposed location of the bottle shop is also a concern.

“Crossing that six-lane arterial road, which is very busy at all hours of the day, provides an enormous risk for those community members,” he said.

Peter Murray standing on his front porch

Pete Murray is also a Bagot resident and worries about the loss of cultural ties

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“Many people from those communities don’t have vehicles so they do a lot of foot walking so we think that this will just be an incentive for them to cross this busy road.”

Territorians have been divided on the issue for the past five years, with some commenting that they’d still like to see the bottle shop opened despite concerns.

“From a beer lover point of view, absolutely,” said Darwin local Gary Grace.

“They got a Dan Murphy’s in every other state in Australia so what’s wrong with the NT?”

chair in front of home with alcohol free house sign

Alcohol fuelled violence, a loss of culture and pedestrian safety are at the forefront of objectors pleas to stop a Dan Murphy’s being built near Bagot

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Keelin Marsh also lives in Darwin and said it would be a good opportunity to have access to competitive prices for alcohol.

“Being in Darwin, there aren’t many places you can go for alcohol,” she said.

“So you’re only limited [to] a certain amount of things unless you do it online and online takes forever to get here anyways so I think it would be good.”

Endeavour Drinks has insisted a majority of Darwin residents do want to see the outlet opened.

Woman and boy stand at a home in Bagot

Helen Fejo-Frith and other elders are concerned about what the outlet would mean for future generations in the community

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“Polling suggests that over 80 per cent of people in Darwin support a Dan Murphy’s store opening,” said a spokeswoman.

“We appreciate that there is still concern within some groups in the community.

“That is why Endeavour Drinks is working with these groups to understand their concerns and doing everything we can to address them.”

The spokeswoman said the company would develop plans to ensure the safety of the community and responsible service of alcohol.

mural next to busy highway in Darwin

Objectors to the Dan Murphy’s also worry about pedestrian traffic near the six lane thoroughfare where the outlet is proposed to be built

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“This includes the development of a Responsible Service and Consumption Plan to ensure that we have appropriate product ranging, pricing and promotion,” she said.

“A traffic management plan that will improve pedestrian safety and access around the store, and a commitment to an ongoing dialogue with the local community.”

On Friday, the legal battle to bring the Dan Murphy’s to Darwin will enter a new chapter when the matter goes before the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT) for a second time.