Western Australia Minister for Racing and Gaming Terry Waldron
More Liquor Bans For Pilbara Communities
Victor P Taffa
Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron has extended a voluntary liquor ban in one East Pilbara Aboriginal community and introduced similar restrictions in another under section 175 of the Liquor Control Act 1988.
Mr. Waldron said restrictions in the remote community of Jigalong, which were introduced in 2009, would be extended until April 30, 2014.
The Minister also announced the introduction of section 175 restrictions in the remote community of Kunawarritji.
While the Shire of East Pilbara had expressed some reservations, the Minister said he had received generally positive feedback from police and community leaders about the effectiveness of the restrictions in reducing the amount of alcohol-related violence and ill health in the community.
“It is evident that these restrictions are having a positive effect on the lives of Jigalong residents so I have decided to extend them until 2014.” Mr. Waldron said.
“I will work with the shire to understand the extent of their concerns and explore options to address any unacceptable negative consequences.”
Mr Waldron said liquor licensees breaching the restrictions would be liable for a $5,000 fine, while all other people in breach of the restrictions would face a $2,000 fine.
The restrictions give Police the power to seize and dispose of opened or unopened liquor containers throughout the community.
The section 175 restrictions at Kunawarritji will have a special tourist condition owing to it being located on the historic Canning Stock Route.
“The Kunawarritji Aboriginal community runs a well-provisioned general store and fuel depot that is popular with tourists travelling the Canning Stock Route.” Mr. Waldron said.
“Many of these travellers camp at the Well 33 camping grounds which are managed by the Kunawarritji community, and provision have been made for tourists to possess and consume alcohol within the camping ground.”
The Minister said it would still be illegal for tourists to consume alcohol within the community itself, and any alcohol they did possess would need to be kept with them at all times until they had left the community.
The Kunawarritji restrictions will remain in place for the next three years.
Mr. Waldron said the restrictions in the Kunawarritji community were supported by the Shire of East Pilbara and WA Police.