The West

The director-general of the Department of Child Protection can apply to have any home in WA declared an alcohol-free zone under new laws passed this month.

The Liquor Control Act 2011 will also allow owner-occupiers of homes and businesses to apply to the director of Liquor Licensing, Barry Sargeant, to have their premises declared alcohol restricted.

The Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor said the director must be satisfied that the declaration reflected the wishes of the majority of the occupants of the premises.

However, if the director deemed it in the public interest and it was "reasonable in the circumstances", the occupants' wishes would be irrelevant.

The head of Child Protection can request restrictions on homes after consulting owner-occupiers, neighbours, Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan and local government authorities.

Anyone who flouted the restrictions would face arrest and a $2000 fine. Police would have the power to enter and search restricted premises if they believed an offence was being committed.

Child Protection director-general Terry Murphy said the laws would be used in extreme cases for children and families known to the department and where there was a continuing risk of harm.

The West Australian

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