Hon Reece Whitby MLA

Hon Reece Whitby MLA

Minister for Environment; Climate Action

    McGowan Government moves to stamp out sly grogging in the Kimberley

    16/09/2021 9:00 AM
    • New regulations to combat the practice of sly grogging will come into effect this week
    • Limits will apply to the amount of alcohol that can be carried in a vehicle
    • Police will have the discretion to seize and dispose of alcohol on the spot
    • McGowan Government committed to minimising alcohol-related harm in the community and protecting the vulnerable 

    WA Police will have the discretion to seize and dispose of illegal alcohol on the spot under new regulations to stamp out sly grogging in regional and remote communities.


    The regulations, which will come into effect in the Kimberley this week, aim to reduce alcohol-related harm and crack down on those who prey on the vulnerable by illegally selling large quantities of alcohol at inflated prices.


    From Saturday (September 18), restrictions will apply under a new section of the Liquor Control Act, limiting the quantity and types of liquor that can be legally transported in a vehicle.


    The carriage limits will reflect the liquor restrictions that are currently in place in the Kimberley under the Emergency Management Act.


    They include:

    • one carton of beer, cider or pre-mixed spirits; or
    • three bottles of wine; or
    • one litre of spirits or fortified wine; or
    • a combination of two products per adult in the vehicle, per day.  

    Vehicles that carry more than five passengers will only be permitted to carry quantities of alcohol for five people.


    WA Police will have the discretion when they stop and search a vehicle to immediately dispose of illegal alcohol.


    The carriage limits will apply in the towns of Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Kununurra and Wyndham, and within 20 kilometres of those towns.


    The limits will also apply within five kilometres of dry Aboriginal communities.


    Anyone found to be in breach of these regulations faces a maximum fine of $10,000.


    Exemptions apply to tourists, pastoralists, station owners and operators of remote work sites.


    The State Government has consulted widely with liquor industry associations and public health bodies, in developing the legislative amendments.


    Comments attributed to Racing and Gaming Minister Reece Whitby:


    "Sly grogging is a significant issue in regional and remote communities, and these regulations are just one way the McGowan Government is tackling alcohol-related harm.


    "Police will now have the discretion to seize and dispose of illegal alcohol on the spot, and I hope this will be a deterrent for members of the community who prey on the vulnerable - and profit off them.


    "Alcohol abuse is a long-standing issue in the community and there is no easy fix, however, the State Government is committed to doing what it can to minimise the devastation caused by sly grogging."


    Comments attributed to Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna:


    "These amendments will target the people engaging in 'sly grogging' - those who are exploiting vulnerable members of the community by illegally selling liquor to them at inflated prices.


    "The social and physical impacts of sly grogging, particularly in remote communities, has devastating impacts and I am pleased to see this important initiative implemented."


    Minister's office - 6552 6300