The State Government has launched a major campaign against ‘sly grogging’ in regional Western Australia.
Racing and Gaming Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich made the announcement in Broome today and said sly grogging was a significant issue throughout regional WA, particularly in indigenous communities.
Sly grogging occurs when people unlawfully sell liquor, generally at highly inflated prices to other members of the community.
Ms Ravlich said the campaign highlighted that sly grogging was a crime and aimed to encourage the community to work together to ensure the criminals who drove the practice were brought to justice.
“I want to make it absolutely clear that people involved in sly grogging are criminals who are profiteering by supplying liquor without a licence at highly-inflated prices,” the Minister said.
“We need to stop sly grogging and prosecute those people that are making a living off the vulnerability of others.”
The campaign includes marketing material and radio advertising distributed throughout the Goldfields, Gascoyne-Murchison, Kimberley, Mid-West and Pilbara regions of the State.
The ‘Stop Sly Grog - 1800 333 000’ message will also be displayed on more than 800 Telstra payphones located throughout the target areas.
“The State Government is sending out a clear message that sly grogging is a crime and that people can call 1800 333 000 to stop the flow of illegal alcohol throughout regional areas,” Ms Ravlich said.
The Minister said industry groups had been extensively involved in the fight against sly grogging.
Australian Hotels Association (WA) chief executive officer Bradley Woods said the campaign had the strong support of the AHA and the association’s members welcomed the initiative.
“The AHA has been closely involved with the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor in the development of strategies to address the issue of sly grogging in the community and this campaign is a major step forward,” Mr Woods said.
Liquor Stores Association of WA executive director Lindsay James said his organisation fully supported the initiative.
“The prevention of sly grogging is part of our code of conduct and we encourage our members to be vigilant and look out for individuals who are purchasing excessive amounts of alcohol,” Mr James said.
The landmark liquor reforms introduced by the Government last year included provisions that doubled the penalties for those found to be involved in sly grogging, as well as allowing for vehicles used in sly grogging activities to be confiscated.
The Minister said as a result, people who supplied liquor illegally could now expect to face fines of up to $20,000 if convicted and have their vehicle confiscated if it was used in the transport or sale of sly grog.
As part of the State Government’s campaign, 3,000 footballs and 3,000 pairs of thongs carrying the ‘Stop Sly Grog - 1800 333 000’ logo will be distributed throughout the target regions through a partnership with a number of State Government agencies including WA Police, Department of Child Protection, Department of Education and Training and the Drug and Alcohol Office.
Minister's Office - 9213 6800