The State Government’s trial of a Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) will commence in the Kimberley this week, following a successful rollout in the Pilbara.
The initiative aims to reduce antisocial behaviour in Broome and Derby by restricting banned drinkers’ access to takeaway alcohol.
The two-year trial will investigate whether the measure can add to the McGowan Government’s wider efforts to tackle alcohol-related harm in Western Australia.
The BDR technology is supplied by Western Australian company Scantek. It allows businesses to scan customers’ identification, giving them a real-time tool to identify those who cannot legally be sold alcohol.
The trial will combine the BDR with a Takeaway Alcohol Management System (TAMS), which limits the volume of alcohol a customer can purchase in a day.
Customer information will remain confidential and no records will be kept about the purchaser, what they purchase, or if they are refused.
The $1 million trial, which includes a $228,000 contribution from local governments across the Kimberley, will be evaluated by the University of Western Australia.
Initially, customers will be able to make purchases without presenting scannable identification, to allow licensees and customers time to become familiar with the new requirements.
The trial will be rolled out in the broader Kimberley region in the next phase, with a mobile app to support the system also in development.
As stated by Racing and Gaming Minister Reece Whitby:
“The McGowan Government is committed to working with local communities to reduce alcohol-related harm and antisocial behaviour around Western Australia.
“This trial specifically targets problem drinkers who break the law when using alcohol, and the introduction of the mobile device will help make the program more accessible and flexible to all licensees in the Kimberley.
“The University of Western Australia will assess the effectiveness of these to help us understand if they can be rolled out more widely to prevent antisocial behaviour and protect the vulnerable people so often impacted by alcohol abuse.”
As stated by Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna:
“This trial aims to reduce alcohol abuse in the Kimberley and the destructive behaviour that comes with it, and I am pleased the McGowan Government is working with the community to tackle this issue head-on.
“The successful rollout of this trial in the Pilbara is encouraging, and I hope to see the same success in the Kimberley as it expands throughout the region and the community stands up against antisocial behaviour.
“The McGowan Government is committed to tackling long-standing issues relating to alcohol abuse and antisocial behaviour in our community, and the development of BDR is among a number of initiatives we are using to protect the vulnerable.”