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Banned drinkers register launched in Pilbara

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Problem drinkers will be blocked from buying booze in the Pilbara as part of a plan to curb alcohol-related crime in the region.

Under the banned drinkers register launched today, anyone purchasing takeaway alcohol is required to have approved photo identification for scanning.

But until January 4 anyone whose ID is unsuccessful will not be turned away, allowing people time to get used to the system.

Those identified as banned drinkers will be directed to community services to provide access to appropriate support.

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People who would like to be voluntarily banned from purchasing takeaway alcohol can be placed on the register.

WA Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia said it was a positive change for the region.

“The banned drinkers register will make a significant difference to communities in the Pilbara and to the lives of individuals and their families,” he said.

WA company Scantek will supply technology for the scheme.

The trial will run for two years and the effectiveness in preventing antisocial behaviour in the region will be evaluated by the University of Western Australia.

The trial was welcomed today by the Australian Hotels Association.

AHA WA chief executive Bradley Woods said it is a step in the right direction in addressing problem drinking.

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“If the objective is to address social problems caused by those who have demonstrated an inability to drink responsibly, it is critical that we implement policies that targeted those individuals, prevent them from purchasing alcohol and provide them with the support they need,” he said.

“The trial has the strong support of industry and we will continue to work closely with authorities throughout the trial to ensure it is successful, in the hope that it is expanded to other areas of the State.”

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