The Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia has welcomed the McGowan government’s raft of new measures to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR).
The recommendations follow an evaluation report into the implementation of the BDR trial in the Pilbara, which came into effect in December 2020.
The BDR is a harm minimisation scheme designed to target problem drinkers. The trial has also been rolled out across the Kimberley and Goldfields.
Under the trials, anyone purchasing takeaway packaged liquor must present an eligible form of ID to be scanned at the point of sale. If a customer is on the register, the seller will be notified.
The proposal, which is designed to toughen the BDR, includes:
- Courts and WA Police be given power to place people on the BDR as part of their bail or parole conditions.
- Making the BDR mandatory for all licensed takeaway alcohol premises in areas where the BDR operates.
- Police be given the ability to have someone placed on the BDR for alcohol related offending that occurs outside a licensed premise, including alcohol related violence and drink driving.
- Minimise secondary supply by creating an offence for knowingly supplying liquor to a person who is on the BDR.
- Giving the police powers to seize or dispose of liquor if it is in the possession of a person who is registered on the BDR due to a Barring Notice or Prohibition Order.
- Requiring online liquor retailers to check the BDR before going ahead with the sale.
LSA (WA) CEO Peter Peck said the wide-ranging proposals, would ensure the BDR would become the significant game changer it was always destined to be.
“These proposals will give the BDR more teeth, I am confident of that.”
“We’ve had the initial trial, now the evaluation report is out we can focus on areas where we need to improve the BDR” he said.
“I have no doubt making the BDR compulsory for licensees, giving police more agility and the courts more scope to place problem drinkers on the BDR will lead to a reduction in alcohol related harm and crime.”
“Importantly the proposals should lead to a fall on the reliance of imposing blanket liquor restrictions as the first port of call, which always impact on our small family-owned member stores” Mr Peck added.
A four-week consultation period in relation to the proposals begins today.
LSA (WA) members can have their say here: www.dlgsc.wa.gov.au/bdr