Expanded support services a must with blanket booze ban

Shadow Racing and Gaming Minister Peter Rundle has reiterated calls for expanded wrap-around drug and alcohol services in the Gascoyne, following revelations of blanket liquor restrictions being imposed on the region.

Mr Rundle said the Opposition agreed liquor restrictions should act as a circuit breaker for alcohol fuelled violence, but long-term strategies and expanded services were vital.

“There needs to be a holistic approach to cracking down on the crime and anti-social behaviour
plaguing some of our regional towns,” Mr Rundle said.

“Blanket alcohol restrictions are only one tool which should only be used as a circuit breaker, and similarly to the enhanced Banned Drinkers Register, they will only be truly effective if local support services are in place to coincide with the restrictions.”

Mr Rundle said communities in the Gascoyne had been tackling crime and anti-social behaviour on their own, after the McGowan Labor Government turned a blind eye to the region’s challenges.

“The Premier and his Police Minister denied there was a crime problem up until a month ago, and now we see them finally sitting up and paying attention to these regional communities,” Mr Rundle said.

“Now, more than ever, it is vital the McGowan Labor Government listens to those residents and business owners who are on the ground, and work alongside them to find a holistic solution.”

Member for North West Central Merome Beard said restrictions on alcohol are an appropriate circuit breaker to deal with social challenges in these circumstances, but more needs to be done across affected communities in our state.

“There have been liquor restrictions in place in Carnarvon as required over many years, it’s not enough for the McGowan Labor Government to roll out a blanket ban and claim the job is done,” Ms Beard said.

“The previous Local Member and I took every opportunity to put this matter on the Government’s radar and to ask for expanded support services and facilities on the ground, including senior departmental decision makers returned back to Carnarvon.

“Significant investment, support and rehabilitation services, and a crackdown on imported illicit drugs need to be part of the holistic strategy to address crime and anti-social behaviour.

“My job as a local community leader is to ask the hard questions and amplify community calls for more
support, funding, and intervention to deal with the crime plaguing our town and our region.”