The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) WA and the Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia (LSAWA) have welcomed the WA Government’s announcement today that the Banned Drinkers Register will be trialled for two years in the Pilbara region from December 1, 2020.
AHA(WA) CEO Bradley Woods (below) said it was the culmination of many years of work from industry and marked an important milestone in the fight to address problem drinking and the damage it imposes on individuals, families and the broader community.
“The announced trial of the Banned Drinkers Register in the Pilbara represents a major step in the right direction towards a targeted, effective policy that focuses attention and resources on those that most need help when it comes to problem drinking,” Woods said.
“The AHA has long advocated for Government’s to pursue policies that target individuals rather than impose blanket liquor restrictions on entire communities – the Banned Drinks Register represents that targeted solution.
“This measure will prevent known problem drinkers from purchasing alcohol but equally important is the fact that those listed on the Banned Drinkers Register will be directed towards support services to ensure they get the help they need.
“We commend the WA Government and in particular Minister Paul Papalia for his leadership on this issue, which included close collaboration with industry representatives and licensed venues in the North West.
“The AHA, licensed takeaway venues and the broader industry is committed to ensuring this trial is successful in the Pilbara so we can see it expanded to other areas where it is required.”
LSAWA said the two-year trial will enable packaged liquor stores to play an even greater role in minimising alcohol related harm and violence.
Under the trial any customer who wishes to buy take-way alcohol from of the 56 licensed premises across the Pilbara will have to show photo identification at the point of sale.
The person’s ID is then scanned and the technology will assess if that person is on the register (which is populated by police through barring and prohibition orders), with a visual indicator to alert staff if they are a banned drinker.
People can also voluntarily elect to be placed on the register.
LSAWA board Treasurer and Chair of the Hedland Liquor Strategy Brent Rudler said: “Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Minister Paul Papalia and the State Government for supporting this initiative. This isn’t just about identifying problem drinkers it’s making sure they get the help and counselling they need”.
“It’s not just a liquor industry issue that we’re dealing with. This impacts on the entire community, from Port Hedland to Karratha and out to Newman” he added.
“This is a community issue and given we are part of the community we have a role to play and we are willing to embrace the opportunity to ensure our community across the board is safer.
Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia added: “The State Government is continuing to work with police, industry and the community to reduce alcohol-related harm in the Pilbara, and we thank the Liquor Stores Association (WA) and the Australian Hotels Association (WA) for their support” the Minister said.
Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said this was a targeted measure to help, not punish those who were most vulnerable.
“This trial will add to our body of knowledge around the best ways to deal with damaging behaviour related to alcohol, to ensure we provide help to those experiencing problems with alcohol and protect our community’s most vulnerable,” he noted.
Pictured above: Hedland Liquor Strategy Chair Brent Rudler, Racing and Gambling minister Paul Papalia and Member for Pilbara Kevin Michel at South Hedland Thirsty Camel.