Fourteen people on banned drinkers’ register since soft launch in the Goldfields

Tom RobinsonKalgoorlie Miner
Scantek's BDR machine, which is used to scan customers' IDs and ensure they aren't on the banned list.
Camera IconScantek's BDR machine, which is used to scan customers' IDs and ensure they aren't on the banned list. Credit: Shire of Broome/Supplied

Fourteen people in the Goldfields have been placed on the banned drinkers’ register since the soft launch of the multi-million-dollar trial began last month.

The $2.5 million Goldfields trial was launched by the State Government in December, with seven licensed venues in the northern part of the region being the first to take part in an effort to tackle alcohol-fuelled antisocial behaviour.

The rest of the region is expected to join the rollout in late February.

The register implements ID scanners at the point of sale for takeaway alcohol, and prohibits people on the list from making a purchase.

The BDR is also being trialled in the Pilbara and Kimberley, where there are more than 100 people on the register.

The State confirmed all 14 Goldfields residents on the BDR had been forced on to it by authorities, with no voluntary applications so far.

Voluntary applications require a person to provide their name, photograph, date of birth, address and contact phone number to the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries via email.

Recently appointed Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti encouraged people who believed they have a problem with excessive alcohol consumption to place themselves on the BDR.

“A program like this simply can’t be trialled without the input from the whole community, including consumers, liquor outlets, law enforcement, local government — the list goes on,” he said.

“Ahead of the program coming into full effect, I urge anyone who thinks they may be having issues with alcohol to consider a voluntary referral on to the register.”

Mr Buti also confirmed the register would be rolled out across the rest of the Goldfields in late February, which was announced by the previous minister Reece Whitby last year.

All Goldfields residents will require photo ID to buy takeaway alcohol when the BDR trial is expanded, but a specific date has not been set.

There is strong debate on the effectiveness of certain liquor restrictions in the other BDR trial sites in the State’s north, with WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson in support of a total grog ban except for light alcohol in the region.

The prospect of a clampdown on already heightened alcohol restrictions across the regions has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, after the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries extended its response time for comment on an inquiry into a Section 64 of the Liquor Control Act.

The inquiry is considering whether restrictions should be imposed on the availability of packaged liquor in Kununurra, Wyndham, Broome, Derby, Wickham, Point Samson, Karratha, Dampier and Newman.

This includes exploring whether anything but light alcohol should be made available for takeaway in the towns, a move supported by the WA Police Commissioner.

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