Broome licensees will apply for at least $75,000 through the Royalties for Regions program to fund a trial of ID scanning technology to identify banned patrons and problem drinkers, despite director of liquor licensing Barry Sargeant refusing to endorse a similar scheme in Kununurra and Wyndham.

Mr Sargeant has said he needed more time to consider the impact of current restrictions in the East Kimberley towns, which ban sales of full-strength alcohol for all but three hours a day, six days a week.

He was still considering a request to relax restrictions to allow sales from 2pm instead of 5pm. A Drug and Alcohol Office 12-month report on the restrictions will be delivered in June.

The Broome Liquor Accord, chaired by Shire president Graeme Campbell and with police and restaurant, hotel and bottle shop managers among its members, hopes a "proactive approach" would negate the need for restrictions to be imposed in Broome.

The accord will lobby the Government for funds to support a year-long trial of 15 of the machines at Broome pubs, bottle shops and its nightclub.

The machines are capable of reading and storing information from a person's driver's licence, proof of age card or passport for a period of time to be determined by the licensees.

Members will be able to "flag" any persons banned from licensed premises and share that information with each other, but use of the data would be strictly monitored.

National liquor retailers Coles and Woolworths are yet to back the use of the technology after expressing concerns about privacy and penalties for non-compliance.

However, Broome Police officer in charge Sen. Sgt Jason Van Der Ende said police had addressed any of the concerns they had raised.

The West Australian

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