Mining boom towns in the Pilbara, including Karratha, Tom Price and Dampier, will be slapped with tough new liquor restrictions despite objections from publicans and mining giant Rio Tinto.
Under the laws, from October 8 liquor stores, hotels, taverns and clubs in 18 towns can only sell alcohol from 11am-8pm Monday to Saturday and most bottle shops will be banned from selling takeaway alcohol on Sundays.
The restrictions were imposed under the Liquor Act in response to police and West Pilbara Alcohol Management Group reports to the Director of Liquor Licensing.
The DLL rules announced yesterday also stop the sale of:
· Containers with more than two litres of liquor with an alcohol content of 6 per cent or more (cask wine).
· Bottles of beer 750ml or bigger, except in Hedland and
· Containers with a litre or more of fortified wine, except in Wickham.
There are already similar rules in Port and South Hedland but for towns in the West Pilbara, where Rio Tinto is the major miner, the restrictions are a big shift.
Rio, in an unsigned submission, said it supported reforms but did not believe "heavy-handed" regulations were appropriate to address challenges the alcohol management group outlined.
"Appreciating that Rio Tinto's mine site accommodation villages are not general public alcohol supply points, the introduction of the recommendations related specifically to the sale of packaged liquor and the prohibition of the sale and supply of liquor before noon will have a detrimental effect on our employees' ability to enjoy a quality lifestyle while living and working away from home," the submission said.
"There is no 'one size fits all' solution to reducing alcohol related harm in the Pilbara."
Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said the limited Sunday trading would affect hospitality and tourism operators in the region.
Police surveys submitted to the director this year revealed 80 per cent of Pilbara residents were concerned about drunken and disorderly behaviour, double the State average.Other police statistics show the percentage of assaults that were alcohol-related domestic disputes last year in Pilbara towns such as Nullagine, Newman and Marble Bar were well above the State and district averages.
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