Opin­ions sought on al­co­hol plan

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Ali­cia Per­era

Al­co­hol pur­chase re­stric­tions aimed at re­duc­ing drink­ing-re­lated vi­o­lence in Kar­ratha will be put to the pub­lic after City coun­cil­lors panned the idea as a blan­ket mea­sure.

The West Pil­bara Al­co­hol Ac­cord is con­sid­er­ing in­tro­duc­ing the Take­away Al­co­hol Man­age­ment Sys­tem, un­der which al­co­hol store pur­chases in Kar­ratha would be lim­ited to one car­ton of full­strength beer plus ei­ther three bot­tles of wine or a bot­tle of spir­its per per­son per day through photo iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card checks.

The sys­tem has been con­sid­ered a suc­cess in Ku­nunurra and Wyn­d­ham since it was in­tro­duced there in De­cem­ber 2015, and is in the process of be­ing adopted by the Hed­land Liquor Ac­cord, mem­bers of which unan­i­mously voted for it in Oc­to­ber.

But City of Kar­ratha coun­cil­lors at last week’s meet­ing were not in favour of TAMS, say­ing it was a blan­ket ap­proach that did not suf­fi­ciently tar­get prob­lem drinkers and would af­fect the live­abil­ity and tourism prospects of the City.

Coun­cil­lor Fiona White-Har­tig said it would im­pose un­nec­es­sary “nanny state” re­stric­tions on res­i­dents. “We’ve al­ready got the liquor ac­cord which seems to be work­ing well,” she said.

How­ever all coun­cil­lors ex­cept Cr White-Har­tig voted to also give the com­mu­nity a say on TAMS through an on­line sur­vey.

Mayor Peter Long said be­cause al­co­hol re­stric­tions were an “emo­tive is­sue” with ma­jor pros and cons, they re­quired a re­sponse in­formed by com­mu­nity in­put.

“We need to strike the bal­ance be­tween re­duc­ing al­co­hol-re­lated so­cial is­sues and al­low­ing re­spon­si­ble drinkers the free­dom to en­joy a drink,” he said.

Pil­bara District po­lice Su­per­in­ten­dent Paul Coombes said po­lice, who were part of the liquor ac­cord, sup­ported TAMS.

The sur­vey re­sults will be com­piled into a re­port for the Fe­bru­ary coun­cil meet­ing.

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