Pilbara liquor restriction proposal suspended

Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
VideoPremier Mark McGowan believes the new laws to combat problem drinking in the Pilbara won't work.

The State Government has backed down on introducing further booze restrictions in the Pilbara until appeals to the proposal are cleared by the WA Liquor Commission.

The Commission confirmed today it has suspended proposed new Pilbara-wide restrictions due to be imposed on March 31 while it examined several appeals.

Those restrictions would have seen takeaway alcohol sales banned on Sunday and introduction of a daily takeaway limit of one bottle of spirits or a combination of a carton of beer and three bottles of wine a week.

Only “bona fide” tourists would be able to circumvent the quantity restrictions.

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Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said the suspension was a chance for the regulator to go back to the drawing board.

“These blanket restrictions across an entire region will be ineffective in achieving the very thing they are designed to address – alcohol abuse,” he said.

“Everyone wants to see a reduction in alcohol and drug related harm however this needs to be done in a targeted, effective way if we are to see real results.

VideoA new plan in the Pilbara will see people required to have police permits to hold 21st birthdays and weddings in the Pilbara, as well as new restrictions on the sale of alcohol.

“Where alcohol restrictions have applied to other parts of Western Australia alcoholics have moved to other areas.”

Mr Woods said the proposed restrictions had major flaws and were easy for problem drinkers to circumvent.

Local booze outlets and politicians have been calling for the banned drinkers register to be introduced without further restrictions placed on top.

Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel lauded the decision to suspend the trial.

“Restrictions won’t solve the problem because the actual people committing alcohol abuse, we are not taking them to task,” he said

Mr Michel said he was keen to see the banned drinkers register proceed as soon as possible.

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