Li­censees sign new ac­cord

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Peter de Krui­jff

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.

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