Laws to enhance safety in Western Australia’s popular entertainment precincts by banning perpetrators of violent or threatening behaviour have passed through Parliament.
The McGowan Government’s Protected Entertainment Precincts (PEPs) will be established in Northbridge-Perth, Fremantle, Scarborough, Hillarys and Mandurah.
The laws are expected to be in effect by the end of the year when precinct boundaries and guidelines for WA Police are finalised.
Liquor Control Amendment (Protected Entertainment Precincts) Act 2022 will provide further protections for people going out for a good time doing the right thing.
PEPs are named in honour of Giuseppe ‘Pep’ Raco, the victim of an unprovoked one-punch attack in Northbridge in July 2020.
It means anyone convicted of various violent and sexual offences, including drink-spiking, within the precincts will receive mandatory five-year exclusions.
Police can also issue an order to exclude someone for up to six months, and further apply for an order of up to five years.
Exclusion orders can apply when:
· a person behaves in an unlawful, antisocial, disorderly, offensive, indecent and threatening way in a precinct; and
· the person being in the precinct could cause violence or public disorder or impact the safety of others.
The penalty for breaching short-term and extended exclusion orders is up to two years imprisonment, and a fine of $12,000.
Exemptions to exclusion from the precincts will apply for work, residential, education, health and other approved purposes.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“These laws are about keeping vibrancy in, and the thugs out.
“It’s about providing comfort to people going out for a good time and doing what we can to ensure that there’s less chance of encountering someone that’s antisocial or violent.
“We’re protecting people doing the right thing and taking a no-tolerance approach to those that do the wrong thing.”
As stated by Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti:
“We’re eager to see our entertainment precincts continue to grow and thrive.
“I’m pleased Protected Entertainment Precincts will be in effect this summer, as more people flock to these areas to enjoy the good weather and festive season.
“When we make entertainment precincts safer, we’re supporting business, supporting families and supporting a culture of fun without fear.
“As we embark on Western Australia’s latest tourism campaign, we need as many locals and visitors as possible enjoying these vibrant entertainment precincts.”
As stated by Police Minister Paul Papalia:
“We already have more police in our entertainment precincts than ever before.
“We have a new Commissioner who is delivering on his visible policing plan, flooding those areas with a sea of blue.
“This new law provides our officers with another tool to continue the crack down on anti-social behaviour.”