The State Government’s trial of a banned drinkers register (BDR) in the Pilbara region will launch on December 1 following the appointment of a Western Australian company to deliver the program.
Western Australian company Scantek has been selected to supply and support the BDR trial, which will investigate the concept’s effectiveness in limiting alcohol-related harm by ensuring banned drinkers will not be able to purchase takeaway liquor.
Liquor store staff will be alerted at the point of sale when an identified problem drinker attempts to purchase liquor, giving licensees a real-time tool to identify those who cannot legally be sold alcohol.
The BDR technology will assess a person’s identification to determine if they are on the register, with a visual indicator to alert staff if they are a banned drinker.
Personal information relating to people on the BDR will remain confidential and no records will be kept by licensees about the purchaser, what they purchase or if they are refused.
The trial is expected to run for two years and be evaluated by the University of Western Australia Public Policy Institute.
As part of the initiative, people who would like to voluntarily remove their access to takeaway alcohol can elect to be placed on the BDR.
Those identified as banned drinkers will be directed to appropriate wraparound community services to provide access to relevant support programs and initiatives.
The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries will soon commence extensive consultation with affected licensees and other key stakeholders.
As stated by Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia:
“The effects of alcohol-related harm in the Pilbara continue to be felt by those most vulnerable in the community, including children and families subject to domestic violence.
“While it is widely acknowledged that the issues around alcohol misuse are incredibly complex and cannot be resolved by a single solution, the BDR trial will add to our understanding of how best to mitigate these kinds of destructive behaviours.
“The BDR trial and UWA evaluation will investigate the efficacy of this approach, with a view to gaining a better understanding of whether BDRs should be used more widely around the State.
“The State Government is continuing to work with police, industry and the community to reduce alcohol-related harm in the Pilbara, and we thank the Liquor Stores Association (WA) and the Australian Hotels Association (WA) for their support.”
As stated by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
“This is a trial to see if this kind of targeted measure can provide a new way to limit the impacts of alcohol related harm.
“Importantly, those who are unable to purchase alcohol will be directed to appropriate local community services where they can access support.
“This trial will add to our body of knowledge around the best ways to deal with damaging behaviour related to alcohol, to ensure we provide help to those experiencing problems with alcohol and protect our community’s most vulnerable.”