Yesterday, Western Australia’s Minister for Tourism, Racing and Gaming, Paul Papalia, promised that a re-elected McGowan Labor Government would extend the Banned Drinkers Register trial to Kalgoorlie.
The trial is currently running in the Pilbara with a trial in the Kimberley set to commence in May. The trial in Kalgoorlie would run at the same time and all trials will run for two years.
“The banned drinkers register is a useful tool for reducing alcohol related harm in the community and when WA Labor candidate for Kalgoorlie, Ali Kent, raised the prospect of a trial here in Kalgoorlie, I was happy to assist,” said Minister Paul Papalia at a press conference held yesterday.
The BDR scheme targets drinkers suffering alcoholism and restricts their access to takeaway alcohol. People who are subject to a current Prohibition Order or Barring Notice are placed on the BDR. People can also volunteer to be placed on the BDR.
WA Labor candidate for Kalgoorlie Ali Kent said, “Many people have raised the issue of alcohol-related harm with me and I have been working alongside Kyle McGinn MLC to see if we could get a trial here in Kalgoorlie.”
Member for Mining and Pastoral Kyle McGinn MLC added:
“Since working in a bottleshop in Darwin where a banned drinkers register was successful in reducing alcohol-related harm, I have seen how this system can work.
“After working with Minister Papalia to successfully introduce a trial in the Pilbara region, I have been advocating for the program to be rolled out in the Goldfields as well.
“The very important difference with this program is that it targets problem drinkers and is not applied to a whole community.”
The BDR uses a technology where an ID is scanned, displaying a green light if the sale can proceed. A red light will be displayed if the individual is a registered banned drinker and cannot legally be sold takeaway alcohol.
The scanner will also include the Takeaway Alcohol Management System, which allows customers to responsibly purchase alcohol according to a daily volume limit for their area.
Personal information on the BDR will remain confidential and no records will be kept by licensees about the purchaser, what they have purchased or if they have been refused service.
Those identified as banned drinkers will be directed to appropriate community services to provide access to relevant support programs and initiatives.
Western Australia’s Australian Hotels Association CEO, Bradley Woods said:
“The AHA has advocated for a BDR for over a decade – the announcement of a trial in the Kalgoorlie region builds on the trial already underway in the Pilbara and signals an important move away from the imposition of ineffective blanket restrictions,” Woods said.
The electorate of Kalgoorlie includes Laverton, Leonora and Menzies. The state election will take place on Saturday, 13 March.
The trials will be evaluated by The University of Western Australia’s Public Policy Institute.