Scanning technology will be rolled out in the shire of Broome for a 12-month trial aimed to reduce the misuse of alcohol in the West Kimberley.

The initiative, introduced by the Broome Liquor Accord, will use Takeaway Alcohol Management System (TAMS) to monitor the amount of alcohol purchased by individuals over a 24-hour period.

The TAMS technology will be installed at all venues that sell takeaway alcohol, with all customers requiring ID to make a purchase. This is a 12-month trial aimed at reducing crime, violence and anti-social behaviour within the region.

Once the trial begins on 1 July, an individual will be restricted to the daily purchase of:

  • Two cartons of mid-strength beer; or
  • One carton of full-strength beer and one carton of mid-strength beer; or
  • One carton of mid-strength beer and six bottles of wine; or
  • One carton of full-strength beer and three bottles of wine; or
  • One bottle of spirits and three bottles of wine; or
  • One bottle of spirits plus one carton of either full-strength or mid-strength beer.

Attempts to buy more than these amounts over a 24-hour period will result in service being refused.

Broome Liquor Accord chair and Shire of Broome president Harold Tracey said the TAMS trial would not impact those that drank alcohol responsibly.

“The misuse of alcohol across the West Kimberley is an issue that we are trying to address, with a negative knock-on impact on critical services in our communities,” he said.

“While recognising that the TAMS trial will not provide an all-encompassing solution to a complex situation, it is a step in the right direction to tackle what has become an endemic social problem.

“I’d like to thank our industry partners for their willingness to participate. An interim report provided by an independent evaluator will be delivered, before the final report upon the trial’s conclusion.”

The Broome Liquor Accord says that measures have been included to ensure that tourism operators, pastoralists and those requiring larger purchases for parties and events are provided for.

The social issues surrounding alcohol in the West Kimberley are similar to those in the Pilbara region, which is just about to see a Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) trial begin. The BDR initiative in the Pilbara was a project driven by Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia (LSA WA) and Australian Hotels Association WA (AHA WA).

Speaking of the initiative being trialled in the West Kimberley, LSA WA CEO Peter Peck said he welcomes measures that aim to limit alcohol abuse, but would have preferred to see a BDR applied in the region.

“The LSA welcomes any proactive move to limit and inhibit alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour,” said Peck.

“On this occasion the local liquor accord has undertaken a decision for local stakeholders.

“Our preference however would have been for members of the Liquor Accord to have worked more collaboratively with the LSA to apply a Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) in the region.

“The issues in Broome and the wider Kimberley are on par with the Pilbara and we feel the BDR would be more effective in targeting problem drinkers rather than penalising the whole community.”

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