Alcohol restrictions could be on the cards for crime-stricken Carnarvon after the Gascoyne town set up its own liquor accord to tackle its alcohol-fuelled problems. Racing and Gaming Minister Reece Whitby was in Carnarvon this week to meet the newly formed accord, made up of licensees including local hotels and bottle shops, the Shire of Carnarvon, WA Police and the Department of Health. Mr Whitby said the accord was considering what measures would be best in responding to alcohol-related harm and anti-social behaviour. He urged the group to submit a proposal to the independent WA Director of Liquor Licensing. Shire of Carnarvon president Eddie Smith, chair of the accord, said the accord had in December recommended a number of changes, but it was up to liquor outlets to implement them or not. Some of the suggested changes include removing high strength beers from immediate view and prominent positions in stores, making minimal quantities of alcohol available after a certain time of night — for example one six pack of full strength beer per person. Cr Smith said he was unsure if any local outlets had adopted the changes as yet. “It’s up to the members of the accord to implement them or not. If they don’t and we don’t see a reduction in alcohol generated domestic violence and crime, the Government has made it clear they will take action to make an improvement,” he said. Cr Smith said “shocking” statistics revealed Carnarvon’s liquor consumption contributed to incidents of domestic violence eight times higher than in the metropolitan area. “It’s a difficult subject to deal with because you have businesses who don’t want to be impacted,” he said. “For these businesses they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. It’s a difficult position at the moment, because businesses say they’re struggling but alcohol intake in the town is high. “My conversation with the minister after the meeting was he understood the problems that we face and understood businesses really didn’t want to be impacted or as little as possible.” Cr Smith said it would take a bit of work, but with patience the town could get through it. Liquor accords have been formed in many communities across WA to help develop strategies to minimise harm and make the various towns and cities safer. Mr Whitby was glad the Carnarvon community had “taken the lead” by forming the liquor accord. “Restrictions are an important part of a multifaceted approach to tackle alcohol-related harm. It’s vital Carnarvon liquor outlets are actively involved in responding to community concerns,” he said. “Reducing alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour is not something the State Government can achieve alone. Collaboration is required between licensees, police, local governments, families and the entire community. “Our Government strongly supports communities taking ownership of its own liquor accord as we find the best results come from community-driven initiatives. I look forward to seeing real progress achieved in Carnarvon.” WA’s liquor laws are under review by the McGowan Government, which is considering a range of reforms to address alcohol-related harm. The level of social dysfunction and youth crime in Carnarvon has triggered major headlines, with Cr Smith repeatedly calling for urgent intervention and action from State and Federal governments. Cr Smith has previously said crime and anti-social behaviour, especially from the town’s roaming and out-of-control youth, had created a “war-zone” atmosphere, with some locals too scared to leave their houses, while others have had enough and left town. Confronting examples of the seriousness of Carnarvon’s dysfunction include a 13-year-old girl who had recently been rushed to hospital for a breech birth and a young boy who was having bowel problems because he was one of several youths selling their bodies on the street to fuel drug habits. Carnarvon is one of several remote communities in WA, with others in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields, which is crying out for government attention and action. The only pub and bottle shop in the northern Goldfields town of Laverton imposed temporary alcohol restrictions last week in a bid to combat alcohol-fuelled violence in the region. Laverton’s Desert Inn Hotel closed the doors to the liquor store on Thursday because of “public unrest” and introduced a one-item-per-customer rule on Friday. Shire of Laverton president Patrick Hill said more was needed than just booze restrictions. “The kids are not getting fed, the women get bashed up, and it’s just going back to the way it was,” he said. Last month, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese snubbed an invitation to visit Carnarvon to witness the situation first-hand after he made a whirlwind trip to Alice Springs. Since that visit, a $250 million package and alcohol restrictions have been announced for the Northern Territory community. Premier Mark McGowan has also been called on to make a visit to Carnarvon a priority. It has been 15 months since he last visited the Gascoyne town. In Geraldton earlier this week for Community Cabinet, Mr McGowan claimed he was a “regular” visitor to Carnarvon and would try to get there again “as soon as I can”. Mr McGowan this week also issued a broadside against parents who failed to take responsibility for their own children, contributing to escalating levels of violence, crime and anti-social behaviour in these vulnerable communities. While insisting his Government had “employed more police officers than ever before” and increased funding for social programs, the Premier said “parents need to parent”. “The State is not a parent. Parents need to parent,” he said. “And we can’t make excuses as to why people don’t parent. The more you make excuses, the more people won’t do it.” Labor veteran Alannah MacTiernan used her last hours before officially resigning as a MP to back Mr McGowan’s stance on parents needing to “step up” in regional towns plagued by out-of-control youth crime. Ms MacTiernan also lamented the “infantilisation” of Indigenous Australians who she said had “lost agency” over their own futures. “Having worked with Aboriginal communities for the past 40 years, I think a lot of work we’ve done has been quite destructive because it’s reduced that sense of personal responsibility,” she said. “No one is suggesting that there is a simple answer but you’re never going to solve any of these complex problems if you infantilise people — I believe that incredibly strongly. “No matter how many social workers and police you send, it is really only Aboriginal people that can resolve this.” The McGowan Government announced funding last year for an extra Intensive Family Support team in Carnarvon to address root causes of children being out on the street, while the Target120 program is also being expanded to the coastal town. But this week Mr McGowan conceded that difficulty was being encountered in recruiting and resourcing these expanded programs.