Mayor backs proposal to manage grog

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

The Hedland Liquor Accord says a takeaway alcohol management system is still on the table despite comments made by residents, according to chairman Brent Rudler.

The Liquor Accord said while it was waiting to see what other towns in the Pilbara were doing in regards to alcohol management, there were no objections to the proposed decision among those who were signatories to the accord.

Town of Port Hedland Mayor Camilo Blanco said he was 100 per cent onboard with the system and said everyone on the Liquor Accord board was as well.

“To date, we have no objections implementing the system within the town from the liquor accord members,” he said.

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The Pilbara has been subject to alcohol-related antisocial issues over the years and Mr Rudler said for change to be effective, community conversation needed to happen.

“We need the community to help us move forward,” he said.

“We’re all a part of this situation going forward as a town, as a community, as a region and as a State ... if we don’t put some kind of system in place, what’s going to happen to mental health in the town, kids on the street, domestic violence?

There’s a raft of issues involved and a solution needs to start somewhere.”

Since the Liquor Accord announced plans for the TAM system, debate has begun among the community and questions have been raised as to whether the accord is all talk and no action.

“We all agree on the system and want to work quickly and efficiently with the community and police, however we’re governed by the law — we cannot go against conditions on our licences,” Mr Rudler said.

However, the chairman agreed with comments raised about underlying issues to alcoholism.

“If we dry up the town, the issues won’t just go away. To simply stop selling alcohol, the antisocial issues won’t fix the problem. We need to get to the core of the problem,” he said.

“The system is just one step of many, although a vital step needed to move forward.”

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