Calls for enhanced Banned Drinkers Register in WA finally heard

Shadow Racing and Gaming Minister Peter Rundle has welcomed the announcement of an enhanced Banned Drinkers Register (BDR), following years of calls from the Opposition and regional communities.

Mr Rundle said improvements to the scheme will allow more pathways to target problem drinkers rather than enforce blanket restrictions but warned wrap-around services also need to be implemented.

“This is a positive first step for communities impacted by alcohol-fuelled violence but support and rehabilitation services must also be in place for the BDR to be truly effective,” Mr Rundle said.

“It is well known that crime and alcohol-fuelled violence has skyrocketed in many regions, including the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid West, Gascoyne and Goldfields.

“The announcement of an enhanced BDR is an admission by the McGowan Labor Government that they have failed to deliver programs designed to keep regional communities safe.”

Mr Rundle said the BDR is an effective tool if implemented appropriately but the devil will be in the detail of the legislation required to enhance the scheme.

“I will be looking to see if the McGowan Labor Government has learnt from previous trials and models used in other jurisdictions, when the legislation comes in front of Parliament,” Mr Rundle said.

“We have been calling for an enhanced BDR with support services to be rolled out for years and finally, the Premier has listened to the Opposition as well as regional communities who are plagued by alcohol-related crime.

“Now, it is the responsibility of the McGowan Labor Government to bring the legislation to Parliament as a priority, to start addressing the problems they have neglected for six years.”

Member for North West Central Merome Beard welcomed the inclusion of Carnarvon as a trial site for the enhanced Banned Drinkers Register, following years of requests for the scheme to be rolled out in the Gascoyne.

“We have repeatedly called for a BDR in Carnarvon, and after persistent pressure from the community, it is heartening to see the enhanced scheme in my hometown,” Ms Beard said.

“However, for it to be truly effective, the program must be rolled out across my electorate to prevent problem drinkers from accessing alcohol from other towns.”

Ms Beard said while the implementation of an enhanced BDR is an important first step, it will be just one part of the solution.

“The McGowan Labor Government also needs to deliver holistic solutions, on-ground decision-makers and better support services to help regional communities where violence is rife.

“It is disappointing that the roll out of an enhanced BDR has come after six years of inaction by the McGowan Labor Government but I believe this will start to bring positive change to the community”