By Ian Neubauer

The WA Government, the AHA and licensing authorities in WA are attempting to convince bottle shop operators to restrict the sale of alcohol as the Federal Government prepares to funnel millions of dollars to welfare recipients to stimulate the economy.

Remote indigenous communities are especially at risk, with police bracing for an upswing in alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour when pensioners, carers, seniors and veterans receive one-off payments of up to $1400 on Monday (December 8).

The AHA has pre-empted the problem and is appealing to its members to limit the type and quantity of alcohol sold to customers next week and throughout the holiday period.

“A minority of people abuse alcohol and abuse others in the community through their alcohol consumption and a number of those people will be awash with tax payer money in the coming weeks,” said AHA (WA) chief executive, Bradley Woods.

“Our members are aware of their legal and social responsibility and they are prepared to take measures against those that have the potential to abuse alcohol during this period.”

But a spokesperson for the AHA said today (December 5) that it did not know if licensees would cooperate with its request, adding that the situation was complicated by anti-discrimination legislation designed to safeguard the civil liberties of indigenous peoples.

“No concrete rules have been set — all we can do is encourage them,” the spokesperson said. “They also have to make sure they do not cross boundaries for anti-discrimination.”

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The Shout Team

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