Opinions sought on alcohol plan
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.