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Scott Pape, The Barefoot Investor
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Commander Gary Budge, from WA Police, has seen the worst of
Perth’s nightlife. “We don’t have a drinking culture in Perth; we have a
drunken culture. While most people behave responsibly, there is a
problem with binge-drinking that continues to create havoc.” This has
led to a radical proposal to lock out patrons from midnight at inner-city
venues, particularly in the nightclub district of Northbridge, a move harshly
criticised by venue owners who feel they have been unfairly targeted.
Gary Budge has sympathy for the licensees. “T hey have been proactive
on this issue by upgrading security and refusing entry to inebriated
patrons,” he says. “We also have an increased police presence in the
area, a prohibition placed on youths on the street and many more street
cameras, which has been helpful in identifying offenders.” Despite the
deep commitment from all involved parties, the problem rolls on.
In response to the lock-out proposal, Commander Budge sug gests
there is no simple cure. “There is no blame to be laid, nor any one
answer to a problem that has become g enerational. Most arrests for
drunken, violent behaviour involve 20-25-year-old caucasian males.
Typically, these young guys get tanked up at home because it is cheaper,
then gather in the nightclub areas later at night. It only takes a couple
of additional drinks for them to become extremely intoxicated.”
And that’s when the trouble begins.
Liquor industry advocates point to the disruptive problems
proposed lockouts will have on the majority of Perth residents,
including greater queues for entry at venues, which in turn triggers
angry and aggressive behaviour, and the possibility of patrons being
denied access after late-finishing cultural events.
Gary Budge sug g ests the answer lies in education. Like anti-smoking
campaigns, an incremental and persuasive fight ag ainst the systemic
nature of binge-drinking is required.
“It will take time,” he says. “Everyone has to work tog ether to get
the message through.” The message is one of personal dignity, and
personal dignity cannot be just taught. It must also be realised.
“We don’t have a
drinking culture in
Perth; we have a
With a proposed lock-out
of Perth nightspots in the
wings, we ask a senior Perth
police officer if this will solve
20-25YEARS IS THE AGE OF THE AVERAGE
WA LOUT ARRESTED FOR DRUNKEN,
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