- McGowan Government proposes new legislation to strengthen the Banned Drinkers Register
- Trials in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields to be extended, with the option to include additional locations
- Proposal seeks to create additional pathways onto the BDR through police and courts
The McGowan Government has today announced plans to strengthen the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) trial underway in the Pilbara, Kimberley and Goldfields regions.
The BDR was first launched in the Pilbara in December 2020 and aims to address alcohol-related harm by targeting problem drinkers and restricting their access to takeaway alcohol.
In areas where the BDR is currently being trialled, anyone buying takeaway packaged liquor must present an eligible form of identification to be scanned at the point of sale. Scanners then notify the seller if the customer is on the BDR.
The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) engaged the University of Western Australia (UWA) to produce the Pilbara BDR Interim Evaluation Report, which identified potential scheme improvements.
Based on the recommendations in the report, the Government has developed proposals designed to strengthen the BDR. Consultation will now start on these proposals, which include:
- expanding pathways for problem drinkers to be put on the register, such as further options for police or through court-ordered pathways;
- making the BDR mandatory for all licensed takeaway alcohol premises in areas where the BDR operates;
- minimise secondary supply by creating an offence for knowingly supplying liquor to a person who is on the BDR;
- giving police powers to seize or dispose of liquor if in the possession of a person who is registered on the BDR due to a Barring Notice or Prohibition Order; and
- requiring online liquor retailers to check the BDR before going ahead with the sale.
Under the proposed changes, police would have the ability to apply to have someone placed on the BDR for alcohol related offending that occurs outside a licensed premises, including alcohol related violence and drink driving.
Courts and WA Police would also be able to include placement on the BDR as a part of bail or parole conditions.
DLGSC will also consult on including additional locations into the BDR trial.
The consultation period is four weeks from 29 September 2022. To find out how to have a say, visit the DLGSC website at www.dlgsc.wa.gov.au/bdr.
Comments attributed to Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti:
"There has been some common feedback on ways to optimise the Banned Drinkers Register trial following launches in the Pilbara, Kimberley and Goldfields.
"We've listened to that feedback and developed a package of improvements that will help the Banned Drinkers Register to function as intended.
"Drink driving and violent offences are big contributors to alcohol-related harm - this consultation is about creating avenues for people convicted of these offences to be put on the BDR.
"It will also look at providing another sentencing tool for magistrates in dealing with problem drinkers that frequent our courtrooms.
"Minimising the harmful impacts of alcohol consumption to individuals, families and whole communities is an ongoing priority for the McGowan Government.
"How we do that, taking into consideration the State's vastness and diversity, presents us with unique policy development challenges, and this makes consultation vital.
"WA Police, local governments and liquor outlets have done a fantastic job with the trial so far. I look forward to working with them on the next stage of the trial."
Minister's office - 6552 6400