Jan 11, 2022 | Neil Thomson MLC, State News

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Hon Neil Thomson MLC, has called on the McGowan Labor Government to urgently review its liquor restrictions in the Kimberley including the administration of the banned drinkers register.

Eight months after its introduction in the Kimberley, there are only about 50 people listed on the register and about half of these are self-referrals.

The McGowan-Cook Government has repeatedly promised to keep us safe but continues to fail on the ongoing alcohol related public health crisis in the north.

Mr Thomson said that “WA Labor had failed to take violence, domestic violence and youth crime in the regions seriously and we know that alcohol abuse is a major causal factor”.

“A humbler government would have learned lessons from the Northern Territory where there are almost 2,000 people on their banned drinkers register”, Mr Thomson said.

“We need many more pathways to have high-risk individuals listed on the register.

“A broad range of public officers should be able to list persons on the register for limited periods of time, with longer term bans being referred to the courts, for example:

  • An authorised public officer should be able to ban parents from purchasing alcohol where their child is not attending school regularly and that officer forms a reasonable belief there is parental alcohol abuse in the home.
  • Serious offences such as domestic violence should result mandatory long-term bans imposed by the Courts.

“WA Labor should also listen to the Police Commissioner about his calls for stronger secondary supply laws which include stiff penalties for those who attempt to circumvent bans.

“WA Labor needs to find permanent and meaningful solutions to tackle escalating regional disorder and the tragic public health crisis destroying a generation of children”, Mr Thomson said.