The Western Australian Government’s announcement of a two-year trial of a Takeaway Alcohol Management System (Tams) and Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) in the state’s Kimberley region has been widely welcomed.

Retail Drinks Australia, the Australian Hotels Association, Liquor Stores Association and Endeavour Drinks Group have all commended the Government for starting the trial.

Retail Drinks CEO, Michael Waters, praised the WA Government’s approach to managing alcohol-related issues in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions through targeted policy solutions developed in close consultation with key industry and community stakeholders.

“Retail Drinks is pleased to support the WA Government’s announcement of a two year trial of a TAMS and BDR in the Kimberley, having been involved in the initial consultation process alongside other key stakeholders,” Waters said.

“As a principle, Retail Drinks supports a targeted, population-specific approach towards the development of alcohol policy, including measures designed to reduce alcohol-related harm in communities.

“The BDR is an excellent example of a government and industry-led initiative helping address problematic alcohol consumption through targeting the small number of individuals who fail to drink responsibly rather than blunt, all-of-population measures.”

Waters added that Retail Drinks would also be involved in the WA Government’s upcoming consultation process with key stakeholders on the TAMS and BDR trial commencing in mid-January.

“We look forward to liaising closely with the WA Government on behalf of local liquor retailers in the Kimberley region as part of the implementation stages of the TAMS and BDR trial later this month.”

AHA(WA) CEO Bradley Woods said the targeted measure is another step towards addressing problem drinking in Western Australia.

“The AHA has advocated for a BDR for over a decade – the announcement of a trial in the Kimberley builds on the trial already underway in the Pilbara and signals an important move away from the imposition of blanket restrictions, which have proved ineffective,” Woods said.

“Preventing the purchase alcohol from those who have demonstrated an inability to drink responsibly is far more preferable and effective than preventing all law-abiding community members from buying a legal product.”

“We commend the McGowan Government and in particular Minister Paul Papalia for recognising the need to pursue and promote an innovative measure that has the support of the community, industry and Government.”

“We look forward to working closely with authorities throughout both trials to ensure they are successful.”

“We also thank and recognise the Liquor Stores Association of WA for their cooperation and collaboration with the AHA and the State Government in the lead up to these trials.”

Chief Executive of LSAWA Peter Peck said the Kimberley BDR trial will add more uniformity across the state’s top end when it comes to tackling problem drinkers.

“We’re really excited the State Government and the Department of Racing and Gaming have jumped on-board with this. Minister Papalia has been on the front foot on this project from the start and he has listened to industry’s ongoing concerns,” he said.

“We know blanket liquor restrictions simply don’t work and now with another BDR in place from Broome to Kununurra and everywhere in between, there will be greater consistency across the board.

“Our members, and the members of the Australian Hotels Association of WA, have embraced this initiative. I wouldn’t be surprised if more regions adopted the BDR down the track,” he added.

Endeavour Group operates three BWS stores in the Kimberley region and has been an active participant in the Broome Liquor Accord for many years.

“We commend the work of Minister Papalia and the Department in consulting constructively with the industry to introduce these important harm minimisation initiatives,” said BWS West Australia State Manager Shawn Holloway.

“We believe that a Banned Drinkers Register is an effective, targeted solution to addressing alcohol-related harm in the community. This is why we have supported this measure for both the Kimberley region and the Pilbara, where the trial commenced in December.

“Our experience of operating a BDR in the Northern Territory over the last few years shows that it can be effectively managed by retailers, with minimal impact on those responsible consumers looking to purchase their favourite drop.

Endeavour Group and BWS also welcome the introduction of a TAMS system to the Kimberley region.

“We also wish to thank members of the Kimberley Accords for their work to facilitate the introduction of these measures. Effective solutions to address alcohol-related harm are much more likely to come from the stakeholders living and working in the community.

“As licensees, we all have a responsibility to listen to these concerns and work collaboratively on developing meaningful solutions.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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