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Liquor, Gambling & Lotteries
Media releases
4 April 2014

New liquor sales conditions in the outback town of Coober Pedy have had significant positive effect in their first six months of operation.

South Australia’s Commissioner for Liquor and Gambling, Paul White brought in new rules for take-away alcohol sales in Coober Pedy, in September last year, in an effort to curb alcohol related violence and anti-social behaviour.

Authorities have reported less public drunkenness, reduced drunken violence, and reduced hospital admissions.

Under the new rules, takeaway sales of cask wine were banned, while wine and spirits were limited to one bottle per person per day, and takeaway sales were also banned to anyone from defined “prescribed lands”.

“I’ve just conducted a review after the first six months of operation, and travelled to Coober Pedy to meet with the Umoona Community, Housing SA, South Australia Police, the Coober Pedy Hospital, the Retail, Tourism and Business Association, the Council and licensees,” Commissioner White said.

“I’m pleased all the reports I’ve received indicate that the new rules are having a marked effect on reducing alcohol related problems.

“SA Police have reported a dramatic drop in alcohol related call outs, meaning they can concentrate on other policing matters.

“The Hospital, Ambulance and Sobering Up centre are all reporting less alcohol-related presentations and improved general health.

“The local council are reporting less public drunkenness, as well as less begging and littering.

“And the rules are having a beneficial effect on children, with reports that children are attending childcare more regularly, and school age children are coming to school more rested, better nourished, and their schoolwork has even improved.

“In response to the consultation. I am making some very minor changes to the rules, mostly regarding the availability of alcohol to mining and pastoral operations.

“I don’t expect that the new rules are going to completely solve alcohol-related problems, but I am greatly heartened that there has already been such a noticeable positive effect.

“Consumer and Business Services will continue to monitor the effect of the rules in Coober Pedy, and will consult with the local community about any further changes that may be necessary.”