Child rape, suicide cases detailed in call to stem flow of alcohol in Western Australia
A submission to halve the amount of takeaway alcohol sold in Western Australia’s far north has detailed distressing accounts of alcohol-related violence.
The Wunan Foundation has written to the West Australian Government and the director of liquor licensing, requesting the daily quota of takeaway alcohol in the towns of Wyndham and Kununurra be halved.
The submission, according to ABC News, has been compiled with the support and input of local police, hospital staff and child protection workers.
Epidemic of alcohol harm fueled by easy availability
Statistics included in the report highlight the extent of alcohol-related harm in Kimberley, with alcohol-related hospitalizations in Kimberley more than four times the statewide average.
The submission states that over three months from August to November 2016, all 11 ambulance callouts for self-harm were alcohol-related.
More than 80% of all ambulance callouts and domestic assaults involved intoxicated people.
The Kimberley region is a patchwork of liquor restrictions, and the East Kimberley is no exception.
The current arrangement allows each person to purchase either six bottles or two cartons of beer per day — an amount critics say is more than enough to sustain non-stop binge alcohol use.
Earlier this year, authorities tried to negotiate directly with bottle shop owners to reduce the daily amounts sold, but no agreement was reached, prompting work to begin on the submission lodged in December with the WA director of liquor licensing Barry Sergeant and Mr. Barnett.
It is expected Mr. Sergeant will now run a consultation process, before making a decision in relation to Kununurra and Wyndham.
Availability regulation urgent
Western Australia Police has expressed strong support for measures to reduce alcohol sales.
Officer in charge of Kununurra police station Senior Sergeant Steve Principe said most Australians had no idea of the level of alcohol-related dysfunction in the region.
Until we can control the supply of alcohol, we don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel to try and reduce those elements of the community.”