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Nats want a review date on Pilbara liquor bans

The Nationals WA have called on the Director of Liquor Licensing to announce a review date for the incoming Pilbara liquor restrictions.

Deputy leader and local MP Jacqui Boydell said the blanket liquor bans had caused angst in the community, particularly in Karratha where the West Pilbara Liquor Accord was preparing for the introduction of the banned drinkers register (BDR).

“I have today met with the Director of Liquor Licensing delegate and requested a review date be set as a matter of urgency,” Ms Boydell said.

“I made it clear that the Director’s decision had caused consternation among licensees and that it was the view of The Nationals WA that a review date would help allay some of their concerns. 

“Many fear these restrictions will be applied across the Pilbara in perpetuity.”

Spokesperson for racing and gaming Colin Holt said the review must take into account the effect the restrictions have on tourism operators and the broader community, as well as health and crime outcomes.  

“We know these rules are being brought in for the 2-3 per cent of the Pilbara population who do the wrong thing, and will be an inconvenience to the majority who do the right thing,” Mr Holt said.

“What we’re concerned about is whether the restrictions will do anything to assist that 2-3 per cent.

“The McGowan Government needs to dedicate more wrap-around services on the ground to ensure those who abuse alcohol are able to find help.

“There also needs to be a comprehensive plan on what Police intend to do to tackle sly-grogging, which is a blight on many North West communities.”

Ms Boydell said she supported the introduction of the BDR but questioned why the Government had dragged its heels in rolling it out.

“If the McGowan Government had been more proactive perhaps we wouldn’t now have these draconian restrictions imposed upon the entire community,” Ms Boydell said.

“I also have concerns over how the effectiveness of the restrictions can be assessed if they run, as is intended, in conjunction with the BDR.

“I would like to hear more from the Minister on this front.”