No one has been charged for alcohol-related offences in the wake of riots in a remote Cape York community, despite police saying a number of alleged rioters appeared to be intoxicated.
The Queensland government plans to spearhead a new alcohol management plan in response to unrest sparked by an alleged murder in Aurukun on New Year's Day.
Community workers say trouble had been brewing in the community, which is a "declared restricted alcohol area", in the lead up to the holiday period.
School attendance rates had dropped below 40 per cent throughout the year, which is usually a sign of 'sly grog' alcohol use in the community, they say.
Police seized dozens of bottles of alcohol prior to the riots, leading to hopes there would be less trouble over the New Year celebrations.
However, on New Year's Day tensions flared in the wake of an alleged murder of a 37-year-old man by two teenagers.
More than 200 people armed themselves with makeshift weapons and homes were allegedly torched in the town of about 1400, in what police said was a "revenge seeking exercise".
So far, a total of 38 people have been arrested on 153 charges including murder, arson, riot and wilful damage in relation to the unrest.
No arrests for alcohol-related offences have been made, police said.
James Cook University public health expert Professor Alan Clough says there is a small group of people across Queensland's far north which is making large profits from the 'sly grog'.
A 700ml bottle of rum reportedly costs up to $250 on the black market.
While alcohol is not a primary cause of dysfunction or unrest in the community, he said "clearly the wheels come off when there is high strength liquor available".
"When you go into your local bottle shop and there's a dusty troop carrier and there's a few burly guys inside loading up pallets of alcohol it doesn't take Blind Freddy to work out where it's going," the Cairns-based academic told AAP.
He says a response needed to be led by a range of stakeholders.
"There's a responsibility, is there not, for the liquor industry who is providing this stuff to constructively engage with a conversation between government, the police and the community," he said.