The dominant Australian community would very much like to keep Indigenous communities from alcohol, but indigenous communities aren't having it. A giant black market has sprung up and such non-government alcohol sells for up to 1100 percent of the retail price.

To learn about these "sly grog traders", as James Cook University humanities scholars deemed them, they interviewed more than 380 people living and working in remote Indigenous communities in Queensland where there was either a total or partial alcohol ban. Illicit suppliers were motivated by a sustained demand for alcohol and consumers' willingness to pay inflated prices. That demand is in place because government believes that access to alcohol is a lead contributor to the high rates of premature death and avoidable disease, crime, violence and injuries among Indigenous people.

To get around the efforts of their White Saviors, bootleggers drive long distances, buy the goods, and smuggle them in. They monitor local police patterns, use decoy vehicles, and phone is reports of suicides or accidents to get them out of the area. Sometimes they just drive in at night with no headlights on back roads.

The smuggling is the reason that cultural activists say their ban on alcohol has not led to fewer premature deaths, avoidable diseases, crime, violence or injuries among Indigenous people. Indigenous people say the alcohol is a symptom of their misery, not a cause. 

The authors say more could be done to curb the illicit trade in communities where alcohol is restricted. One effort would be to penalize people buying in bulk more harshly than people caught with alcohol for their own use.

Americans might argue that government-created Prohibition does not work very well, it just makes criminals rich.