Pilbara liquor restriction decision imminent

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Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
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VideoFacial recognition technology could soon be used to stop problem drinkers purchasing booze under a radical new proposal the State Government may consider.

Restrictions on the sale and supply of booze across the Pilbara are likely to come into force, according to Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia.

The Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor is currently considering a proposal to limit licensed venue opening hours and the amount of booze able to be purchased across the Pilbara.

Full strength beer would not be banned under the proposal and there would be measures in place to allow people to bulk purchase if a need is demonstrated.

Speaking on a visit to Karratha Thursday night, Mr Papalia said the liquor restriction process was nearing conclusion.

“That will in all likelihood happen soon,” he said.

“In all likelihood restrictions will be in place before the banned drinkers register is ready.”

Mr Papalia said he hoped to start a banned drinkers register trial in the Pilbara by the end of the year.

That trial would likely run for at least one year and results could lead to it being implemented elsewhere in the state.

Liquor Licensing director Duncan Ord said he was confident in the evidence provided, which suggested restrictions were necessary.

“Most people understand it is a privilege to be able to buy alcohol in our society,” he said.

“I am confident the balance (of the restrictions) would not be of such an extent that most people in the Pilbara would see it affect their life.

“We are in the final stages of determining the exact nature of those restrictions.”

Mr Ord said he saw merit in more targeted measures such as the banned drinkers register being implemented down the line.

Onslow’s liquor accord has already self-imposed similar restrictions to what is being proposed.

For full details , pick up a copy of the Pilbara News next week.

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