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Objections raised to proposal to lift alcohol restrictions in Fitzroy Crossing

Date posted: 30 August 2016

Submissions to Western Australia's (WA) Liquor Licensing branch closed yesterday over the bid by business owners in Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek to lift takeaway alcohol restrictions. Bans on the sale of full-strength alcohol sales were introduced in Fitzroy Crossing in 2007 and Halls Creek in 2009.

The Commissioner for Children and Young People WA, Colin Pettit, has lodged a formal objection to the proposals, saying that they are not in the best interests of local children and young people. He noted that the two-year report into the Fitzroy Crossing alcohol sale restrictions 'found it had a significant positive impact on children and young people's education.'

Mr Pettit said that the current restrictions do not prevent every single instance of alcohol-related harm and are not a simple solution to all the challenges children face in the Fitzroy Valley, but they are an important and effective strategy that should not be tampered with before long-term change is evident.

Mr Pettit disagreed with the applicants' assertion that lifting restrictions would address issues of sly-grogging and the black market in full strength beer. 'There is ample research which shows that any increase in the availability of alcohol increases alcohol-related harm, so we should instead be considering other targeted strategies to deal with any continuing alcohol abuse and illegal movement of full-strength alcohol,' said Mr Pettit.

An objection was also raised by Pediatrician, Dr James Fitzpatrick of Telethon Kids Institute, who headed the Lililwan Study into Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in the Fitzroy Valley. Dr Fitzpatrick stated that he had only seen positive impacts since the introduction of alcohol restrictions, and that lifting these would see more pregnant women drinking.

Fitzroy Crossing women's leader June Oscar has strongly opposed the bid.

Source: Commissioner for Children and Young People, The Australian

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Last updated: 30 August 2016
 
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