Push to relax liquor restrictions

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
Bartender Amal Khan making the drink "Smoked Outback Old Fashioned".
Camera IconBartender Amal Khan making the drink "Smoked Outback Old Fashioned". Credit: The Sunday Times

A peak body representing outlets selling alcohol has backed the decision to suspend the Town of Port Hedland and has vowed to lobby the commissioner appointed to administer the council for a banned drinkers’ register in the mining community.

The Liquor Stores Association WA has now called for renewed debate on alcohol restrictions in Port Hedland in the wake of Local Government Minister David Templeman banning all nine councillors for six months.

It is understood a Director of Liquor Licensing decision for alcohol restrictions across the Pilbara was stopped for all areas except Port Hedland after a successful appeal by licensees last month.

The State Government is pursuing a banned drinkers’ register that would focus on problem drinkers with a treatment strategy that would enable health professionals to help them or others affected by their behaviour, and aims to reduce antisocial behaviour.

LSAWA chief executive Peter Peck said the appointment of Commissioner Fred Riebeling to the council was a positive move forward for the successful trial of a BDR. “The banned drinkers’ register trial is an effective tool to prevent recidivists offending and will block people from buying alcohol. It has no bearing on those who comply with the law,” he said.

Mr Peck said blanket measures such as a complete ban on all liquor were “never going to work” because they were “illogical and impractical”.

“In a time where WA tourism is starting to recover we need to show leadership, we need to foster good workable relations with all stakeholders and not fall into a state of panic,” he said.

Mr Peck said LSAWA supported the responsible consumption, service and purchase of alcohol.

“It shouldn’t come at the expense of those who comply with all the laws of the land as opposed to those who break them,” he said.

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