Licensees sign new accord
Rowdy drinkers have been put on notice as Pilbara licensees and police have re-established a liquor accord across Karratha, Wickham, and Dampier.
Licensees signed the dotted line last week in a bid to reduce alcoholrelated harm in the community in an agreement between outlets, government agencies and police.
The last agreement fell by the wayside after changes to liquor restrictions in October, 2012 which limited the container size on some alcohol products and shifted the time bottle shops could start operating from 10am to 11am.
The Pilbara liquor enforcement unit’s Senior Constable Dean Lyon said there were 45 licensed venues in the accord area, including wet messes in work camps, restaurants, sports clubs and pubs.
Sen. Const. Lyon said there had been a desire among local licensees to start the accord up again.
“At future meetings licensees will be encouraged to come up with strategies or ideas they can introduce themselves in order to address issues in the community,” he said. “For example, someone might say there’s an issue with street drinking in and around licensed venues that will be raised at an accord meeting.
“Licensees will be asked what can be done to address that, they will come up with a policy, it will get voted on, and a policy will sit under the agreement and if it becomes irrelevant it can be revoked, or redone.”
Sen. Const. Lyon said now licensees would be able to share information and that would hopefully stop things like disorderly patrons being removed from one venue and just going down the road to another.
The accord is being chaired by West Pilbara district police Inspector Brett Ranford.
Karratha International general manager Brett Saunders said the message was every one of the licensees just wanted to be running under the same rules.
“We want the ability so that if someone’s playing up in a venue in town they’re going to get treated the same way under the same rules,” he said.
“If we’re making sure we’re all complying, then it’s no surprise to anyone who might get turned away.
“It doesn’t hurt for our fellow licensees to stay in touch with each other and share ideas … it’s about harm minimisation and to stop things happening outside of the premises.
“The social impact is significant.”
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said it was pleasing to see all parties actively involved in setting the agenda and signing the liquor accord, working together to develop strategies that fostered a responsible drinking culture in the city.