Premier Mark McGowan ‘sceptical’ about ‘inconvenient’ Pilbara alcohol restrictions

Peter de KruijffThe West Australian
VideoFIFO workers will be banned from buying takeaway alcohol on Sundays in the Pilbara.

Premier Mark McGowan is “sceptical” about new Pilbara booze restrictions that he says would “inconvenience” locals.

Mr McGowan said there were elements of the new rules, which would ban Sunday takeaway sales and set a daily limit on purchases for the rest of the week from March 31, that he frankly did not agree with.

“I am more worried about the fact you can drive a truck through some of the rules and that it will inconvenience locals,” he said.

“I am very sceptical about the restriction of sale of 30 cans because you can just go around the corner and buy another 30 cans.

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“I don’t think that will work.”

Premier Mark McGowan.
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan. Credit: The West Australian

The premier said there were some elements of restrictions in the region with which he did agree.

“For instance, stopping the sale of massive casks and later opening hours in the morning,” he said.

“But it’s out of my control ... it’s an independent process of government.

“In the Pilbara there are some major alcohol issues. I think this has been done with the best intentions, but there can be ways to get around it and I think it just inconveniences people.

“We will monitor it and see how it goes and if it doesn’t make any difference we’d like to see changes in the future.”

Mr McGowan said his government’s priority was the introduction of a trial for a banned drinkers register in the first half of this year.

“That will ensure those people identified as drinkers with very significant problems are not allowed to buy alcohol,” he said.

“That’s a better way forward.”

Members of the West Pilbara Liquor Accord are getting together next week to discuss the possibility of an appeal.

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