A new liquor policy has been announced for Kalgoorlie-Boulder, a town in the Western Australia Goldfields region, located 600 kilometres east of Perth, to “reduce alcohol-fuelled disturbances”.
The new policy was announced on Monday and will involve year-round point of sale controls such as photo identification checks for anyone buying alcohol from local bottle-shops and other "packaged outlets".
“People will now be refused service without an acceptable form of identification reducing the potential for street drinking and anti-social behaviour to occur,” said city chief executive John Walker in an announcement.
“The measures are specifically aimed at eradicating the supply of alcohol to people from remote communities who exercise their right to ‘holiday’ and behave badly on the streets of Kalgoorlie-Boulder."
Local police will also target people purchasing alcohol on behalf of others.
The CEO of the Liquor Stores Association of WA, Peter Peck, told local media he was alarmed by Mr Walker's comment about the measure’s intention.
“You can't just take a brush and say everyone from a particular community shouldn't be allowed to have something purely because they're from that community,” said Mr Peck.
“I think that's extremely wrong and it's a dangerous path to take."
WA's Racing and Gaming Minister, Paul Papalia, also raised concerns over the comment.
“While I understand the Liquor Accord has a responsibility to manage the service of alcohol in the region, liquor stores must exercise reasonable judgement if refusing service...this should never be based on a customer's usual residence, race or cultural background," he said.
“Tourists, holiday-makers or visitors are entitled to purchase packaged liquor, unless the licensee has a legitimate concern of disorderly or anti-social conduct. The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder should avoid creating unnecessary and harmful divisions in the community.”
The comments from Mr Walker come one month after member for Kalgoorlie Kyran O’Donnell and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor John Bowler said the influx of people from the Ngaanyatjarra Lands had resulted in an increase in anti-social behaviour in the town.
In a joint statement released on January 22, the two men said “enough is enough” and claimed Ngaanyatjarra Lands people had been disrespectful.
“The issue is getting worse and out of control each year and it is about time that we stop tiptoeing around the issue in the hope that it will die down, or be someone else’s problem,” they said in a joint statement last month.
“These people show utter disrespect to our city, to our residents, our properties and they give their own people a bad reputation and total disregard for their own culture.”
Other measures introduced by the Accord include establishing a communication platform, signage and voluntary tightening of sales to discourage excessive liquor consumption in the community.