two photos, each showing people drinking alcohol from bottles through a red tube, faces blurred

Police investigate ‘disgusting’ social media stunt in Coober Pedy dry zone

A social media video showing a group of people being assisted to “snorkel” spirits and beer in Coober Pedy has been labeled “disgusting” by South Australia’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister.

The video was posted to an Instagram page, which the ABC has chosen not to name, on Monday.

The group’s biography states it is “traveling around Australia in 2022” on a refurbished bus “on the hunt to find Australia’s best house party”.

The beginning of the video depicts a man using a pink snorkel-like device to drink from a bottle.

“We are here in Coober Pedy. Let’s see what this town’s about,” the man says.

The video then shows multiple Aboriginal community members performing the same task — drinking alcohol quickly using the same snorkel device.

A comment on the video states: “Isn’t Coober Pedy a dry zone?”

South Australia Police confirmed local police had “investigated the video” and found four community members for drinking in the dry zone which covers almost all public places in Coober Pedy.

“We can confirm that we are aware of the vision and have not received any specific complaints from the public,” a spokesperson said.

“Police continue to try and locate the person(s) who supplied the alcohol for possible breaches under the Liquor Licensing Act.”

A person is being assisted to drink alcohol in the video.(Instagram)

The ABC spoke briefly to a member of the group, but is yet to hear a response to questions.

A dry zone is a place where people are not allowed to have or drink alcohol.

The SA Government’s website states the purpose of a dry area “is to curb alcohol-related problems and anti-social behavior in public areas such as reserves… car parks… beaches and foreshores… [and] communities where drinking in public places is an indicator of complex social issues.”

Dry zones are in place in locations across Australia, including in remote parts of the country.

Concerns about future stops

South Australia’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher, who is the state’s first Aboriginal MP to hold the portfolio, said the matter was being investigated.

“It’s disgusting, quite frankly,” he said.

“The police have been notified, and the Office for the Commissioner of Liquor and Gambling is also looking into it.

“The supply or sale, unlicensed, of alcohol, can carry ends of up to $20,000.

“I hope those bodies investigate as thoroughly as possible.”

Shane Mohor leaning on a ledge wearing glasses and a button-up shirt
Shane Mohor was told the group behind the video has moved north towards Alice Springs.(www.ahcsa.org.au)

Chief Executive of the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, Shane Mohor, said he had been informed police had “moved the group on.”

“I have been in touch with Nganampa Health Service in the APY Lands to let them know about this incident and that this group are planning to head their way.”

The group has today posted content tagging Uluru in the Northern Territory as its location.

Previous material posted to the page includes images of large black buses, branded with the group’s name.

Since July 7, the group has published images and video tagging Warrnambool in Victoria, and several locations in South Australia, including Robe and Adelaide.

One video, labeled with an “Adelaide” location, shows a flask-sized bottle of alcohol being passed around a group of Aboriginal men.

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