Nationals WA candidate for Kalgoorlie Rowena Olsen has warned a Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) trial mooted for the Goldfields needs associated wraparound services before its introduction if it’s to be successful.
Mrs Olsen said while she supported the concept of a BDR stretching from Kalgoorlie to outlying Goldfields communities, support and education programs needed to be incorporated.
“This system will only work if support agencies are able to provide wraparound services so communities are better prepared to move away from drinking and alcohol abuse,” she said.
“From what I know of the Pilbara BDR, there is only a handful of names on the list and it’s not had a huge impact on curbing drinking or alcohol-fuelled antisocial behaviour on its own.
“That’s why it’s important any BDR trial is accompanied by serious community outreach – and in the case of the Goldfields much of this will need to be mobile, agile outreach – and education programs that encourage drinking in moderation, or not at all.”
Mrs Olsen said the prospect of a BDR working alongside community-backed Takeaway Alcohol Management Systems must also have support in the communities its rolled out.
“TAMS models have proven to assist the regulation of alcohol sales in Kimberley communities but they need to be backed by communities, the retail sector and leaders,” she said.
“We also need housing and legal assistance, crisis intervention, mental health counselling, medical care and strong individual case management to solve alcohol-related problems in the Goldfields.
Nationals candidate for the Mining and Pastoral Region Nick Fardell said the other key issue related to compliance outside the retail setting.
“Although a BDR coupled with TAMS systems will allow for regulation of alcohol sale at purchase points, there is little to monitor or stop people drinking at home or elsewhere, especially in northern Goldfields communities and the Lands,” he said.
“We need real leadership on this from people influential in their communities to help stamp out alcohol-related harm and bring alcohol-fuelled violence, crime and antisocial behaviour under control.”