Licensees hold petition for Pilbara banned drinkers register

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Glass of beer and bottle side by side.
Camera IconGlass of beer and bottle side by side. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

More than 800 people have signed a petition calling for tougher liquor restrictions planned for the Pilbara to be thrown out in favour of a banned drinkers’ register operating in isolation.

West Pilbara Liquor Accord licensees collected 829 signatures over five weeks in a petition that was circulated across the region, which has been submitted to WA Nationals deputy leader and Mining and Pastoral MLC Jacqui Boydell to table in the Upper House of Parliament.

Speaking on behalf of licensees who are part of the accord,West Pilbara Liquor Accord chairman Bart Parsons said the strong response the petition had attracted within a short time showed residents supported a Northern Territory-style banned drinkers’ register over further restrictions.

“I think the common consensus from all the petitions and surveys and everything that has been done is the restrictions are just not welcome. So why is the State Government not using that data?,” he said.

“People want a targeted response to antisocial behaviour — they want the people who actually have drinking problems to be targeted, not the whole community.”

Mr Parsons said the accord’s licensees were aiming to have the petition debated in Parliament because they wanted politicians had a real conversation about alcohol-related harm and the best methods for addressing it.

“If people are transient, and that’s what people argue you’re going to get in this situation, then the issue is probably going to migrate to the metro area or Carnarvon and Geraldton, so let’s design something that’s better.”

“We also should be giving (the banned drinkers register) clean air instead of doing two things at the same time. If you want to actually measure what the result is, you’re clouding the situation by having two at a time.”

Last year, West Pilbara Liquor Accord licensees circulated a separate petition in objection to the proposed liquor restrictions, which was tabled in the Lower House by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel.

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