Voices heard on grog restrictions

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

An hour-long public question and statement time saw Hedland residents flood into last week’s council meeting to discuss their views on alcohol restrictions.

While the issue of alcohol restrictions was not on the agenda, members of the public flooded into this month’s council meeting in an effort to have their voices heard and questions answered.

Hedland local Dave McGowan urged councillors to factor in ratepayers when considering whether to support the review of section 64.

“Under the current regulations and the liquor accord, there is already the ability to restrict the sale of products,” he said.

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“It’s what is happening outside with the consumption that is not going to be controlled.

“Control the consumption of the small minority and leave the majority of the law-abiding citizens to continue to enjoy their favourite drink when they want to.

“Further restricting full- strength alcohol and retail hours directly infringes on my rights as a law-abiding citizen ... I urge councillors to reject further changes to the restriction of alcohol and introduction of a section 64 change.”

While many at the meeting felt similar to Mr McGowan, there were those who supported the mayor in his letter of principle support in the police application for a section 64 review.

Hedland First National principal Morag Lowe urged councillors to take the review seriously in their considerations of support as not everyone in town agreed with Mr McGowan.

A common misconception over the course of the night was the council supported the section 64 review; however, Mr Blanco assured the public that the in-principle support was from himself as a mayor and he had no control over whether the review of section 64 would be approved.

“The application was nothing to do with the Town of Port Hedland,” he said.

“The application was submitted from the police direct to the Liquor Association and they are ones to make the decision. There was a letter from the mayor, that’s myself, supporting the application ... it was in-principle support.”

Due to the overwhelming response from the public, the Town of Port Hedland announced a Special Council Meeting for Monday night with the alcohol restrictions, specifically section 64 review, as the sole agenda item.

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