ID plan for liquor stores
Photo identification scanning could be introduced to liquor stores at Wyndham and Kununurra if new alcohol restrictions proposed by local stakeholders are approved by Director of Liquor Licensing, Barry Sargeant.
Representatives from every business licensed to sell alcohol in each town signed the proposal at a meeting of the East Kimberley Liquor Accord committee on Tuesday.
The new laws would limit the amount of alcohol that could be purchased to two cartons of fullstrength beer and six bottles of wine or a bottle of spirits, but it could be purchased between noon and closing time Monday to Saturday.
Existing laws introduced one year ago restrict the sale of all fullstrength alcohol to between 5pm and 8pm, with stricter limits on the amount of alcohol which can be purchased during those times.
There are currently no measures in place to prevent people from purchasing the maximum amount of alcohol from more than one outlet.
The new proposal would record the amount of alcohol purchased by an individual in one day by using machines to scan photographic identification.
The recorded information, which would include but not store relevant personal details, would be shared between all licensees to prevent people from exceeding the limit at different stores.
It would also communicate which people had been banned from buying alcohol for a designated period by police or other licensees.
Representatives from WA Country Health Service, WA Police and MG Corporation were among those who signed in support of the proposal on Tuesday.
It will be delivered to Mr Sargeant by Kimberley District Superintendent Mick Sutherland in Perth tomorrow.
Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley president John Moulden said the current restrictions were not working.
“The only part of the current restrictions that we think works is the total ban on sales on Sundays,” he said.
Mr Moulden said the ban on selling full-strength alcohol before 5pm just moved increased crime periods later into the night.
Although the identification scanning system and amended restrictions will be phased in if the proposal is approved by Mr Sargeant, Mr Moulden said more planning had to be done before they could be permanently implemented.
Funding would be needed to purchase each machine, worth $7000, and to ensure people without photographic identification would not be disadvantaged.
Mr Moulden said MG Corporation was in the process of creating a new identification card for Miriwoong and Gajerrong people.
Although the card was designed to help people who did not have driver’s licences to show proof of identification, the project could also ensure disadvantaged people were not short-changed by the new system.
Mr Moulden thanked Kununurra Police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Jack Lee and SWEK community development director Karyn Apperley for driving development of the proposal