By Andy Young
A trial of the Northern Territory’s Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) has started in Nhulunbury this week, ahead of being rolled out across the state from September.
The register comes back into place after an election promise by the state’s Labor party to cancel the previous government's alcohol rehabilitation scheme which replaced the previous BDR in 2012, and instead use the funds to reintroduce the BDR.
Justice Minister Natasha Fyles said: “People buying alcohol will have to have their licenses scanned and if they are on the banned drinker register they won’t be able to purchase takeaway alcohol from September 1.”
In 2008 Nhulunbury introduced its own permit system for buying takeaway alcohol, which remained in place after the BDR was scrapped in 2012.
Earlier this year the President of the Liquor Stores Association NT, Faye Hartley told TheShout that the association supported an effective BDR.
Hartley said that it was important that the BDR hardware used to scan IDs was reliable and up-to-date and that if the Government wanted the public to fully support and accept the BDR that it address the speed, accuracy and efficiency of the system.
“LSA NT understands that the Government has trialled a new iPad style scanner which initially offers significantly faster processing than the previous equipment. LSA NT is keen to assist the government with the reintroduction of a more efficient system and is offering assistance to trial the new technology in our member’s’ stores,” Hartley told TheShout in May.
The Woolworths-owned Endeavour Drinks Group also welcomed the reintroduction of the BDR, with General Manager for Corporate Services, Shane Tremble saying, “We are supportive of any measures that specifically target the perpetrators of violence and anti-social behaviour and do not disadvantage the majority of Territorians who drink responsibly. It will be essential that the system works robustly and efficiently so as not to inconvenience the majority of our customers.”
Although LSA NT did raise concerns about a rushed start date earlier in the year, the Labor Government remains committed to a September 1 state-wide roll out of the scheme.