Liquor control ‘doesn’t have a clue’ about the Pilbara

Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel.
Camera IconPilbara MLA Kevin Michel. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel has urged WA’s liquor control director to visit the Pilbara before making any decisions on hardline booze restrictions across the region.

A show-cause motion sent by liquor control and arbitration director Peter Minchin to Pilbara liquor outlets on April 27 set out a proposal to ban full-strength beer, reduce trading hours and restrict purchase quantities in unison across the region.

Mr Michel said the proposed restrictions would impede on the rights of Pilbara residents.

“Just because of 50 or 100 people, you can’t make 20,000 others suffer,” he said.

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“I will lobby the director to try and get him to come up here ... because some people just don’t understand what Karratha is. They really don’t have a clue.

“They need to come here and see what we have, see the events we have had and see these events have never had any incidents.”

VideoPolice are pushing for tough restrictions in the mining heartland

Blanche, Fiorita and Rambla Bar owner Bart Parsons said Karratha had been unfairly painted with the same brush as South Hedland.

“Do you treat Midland the same as you treat Cottesloe? No you don’t,” he said. “We weren’t acknowledged at all in the show-cause notice, yet the police and Health Department were.

“That is very disappointing considering we are quite serious about the banned drinkers register.

“Look at the banned drinkers register, target the individuals, then use the data which comes out of that to then help those individuals.”

Mr Parsons said Pilbara liquor retailers had not been given the opportunity to discuss the banned drinkers register proposal.

The Department of Local Government, Sports and Communities declined to answer when asked when was the last time a liquor control representative had visited the Pilbara, or if anyone from the department would visit the Pilbara before the May 31 deadline.

The Department also declined to address concerns from Pilbara liquor retailers, who claimed their views had not been taken into account.

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